Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, June 7, 2012

First question for Brown: What to do about PMUA?

Plainfield city council candidate Tracey Brown is all but certain to be elected to the at-large seat in November in this heavily Democratic town. Along with that certainty comes another: the difficulties her service as a PMUA commissioner caused her during the Primary Election campaign will not go away, they will simply be transferred to her role as a member of the governing body.

With Plainfield's Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson set to take over as the PMUA's executive director on July 1st -- just over three weeks from now -- candidate Brown is faced with the need to make an immediate decision about her continued role with the beleaguered solid waste agency.

If, as I have been told, the Commissioners will be faced with making some profound decisions at their June meeting next week (Tuesday the 12th, 6 PM, at PMUA headquarters, 127 Roosevelt Avenue), Brown will be faced with participating in votes which may become the subject of discussion, review and/or action at a future point by the City Council.

On the other hand, if she continues to serve as a Commissioner after Williamson takes over as executive director, she may be put in a position where she will have to recuse herself from certain future discussions and votes of the City Council.

It is quite possible, despite Mayor Robinson-Briggs' tactics of obfuscation and delay, that the matter of studying the question of the PMUA's re-absorption into the City may still occupy the Council's attention once Brown takes her seat in January.

Whether Brown decides to forego her commissioner's seat now or later, as a Councilor she will find the public's scrutiny of her role and actions more intense, more persistent and less escapable than heretofore.

So, before she is even elected, Brown is faced with choices that could constrict her future maneuverability, or -- even worse -- prove embarrassing.

Welcome to the joys of public service!

-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


Alan Goldstein said...

Since when does any Council member recuse themselves? Bill Reid, who acts as the bagman for Jerry Green's and the Mayor's campaigns, as well as the PDCC, certainly doesn't. He takes the money and votes on the contracts without batting an eye, nor a word from the hypothetical opposition on the Council.

The PMUA study I expect can be kissed goodbye. Any substantive changes look like they will only come now from state intervention or legal action.

In the interim there should be nothing about the PMUA coming forth from Tracey Brown. She, along with many other commissioners, have been stealing healthcare benefits. Has there been a reprimand, even from New Dems on the Council? No, not yet, and probably not ever.

Does any official even care? I don't think so, and obviously the voters don't either. They stood up on Tuesday and the electorate yelled "Take Me to the Cleaners".
No answers, fine. Steal our money, fine. Give us more years of nothing, OK by me.

Bob said...

This is a thought I think many of us have had and I raised it before the election. The citizens of Plainfield will watch Brown closely and if she doesn't perform with expected good character a recall could be in the wings. She can't hide behind a lawyer while on the City Council without very negative results or allow the mayor to continue to tell the citizens of Plainfield to keep quiet. I wonder what Brown will do when Sharon is not mayor, which happens at the next election.

Anonymous said...

My my, Dan. Didn't like the whipping you guys got?

Bitter...bitter. Aren't we.

Ha Ha!