Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, June 4, 2012

Warming Bells: Brown suddenly revises her PMUA history

Feeling heat from the voters, candidate Brown revises her PMUA history.
Faced with continuing questions about her role as a PMUA commissioner, at-large candidate Rev. Tracey Brown has suddenly revised her PMUA history, which should be a warning signal to voters in tomorrow's Democratic Primary Election.

For months, Brown has refused to discuss her role in some of the more scandalous episodes in recent PMUA history --

  • The granting of a four-year contract to former execs Watson and Ervin that formed the basis of a $1M cash settlement;

  • Failing to speak out against the illegal derailing of the arbitration process by Commissioners Dunn and Sanders, and setting up the conditions of the $1 million cash settlement;

  • Enabling the passage of the settlement by failing to take part in the vote -- whether or not she was able to be physically present -- which ratified the $1 million cash settlement; and

  • Actually proposing that PMUA workers should be forced to take unpaid furloughs in order to generate cash for the settlement to Watson and Ervin.
When she appeared before the City Council this spring, Brown refused point-blank to answer a direct question by Councilor Williams on where she stood on the question of the $1 million cash payout.

At the NAACP candidates forum, she said she would not answer questions and at the FOSH forum, repeated the insistence that she wouldn't answer because of 'a conflict of interest'.

Now she says she was in favor of arbitrating the dispute. Well, duh! It WAS in arbitration when Commissioners Dunn, Sanders and Toliver engineered the $1 million handout and ended the arbitration proceedings.

What Brown still hasn't spoken to is why she didn't participate in these important votes by phone, whether or not she was in the hospital or out of the country.

The $1 million cash payout was approved by a vote of 3-2, with Commissioners Mitchell and Brokaw voting NO and Commissisoners Dunn, Sanders and Toliver voting YES. If Rev. Brown had participated, Commissioner Sanders, as an alternate, could not have voted -- and the outcome would have depended on Rev. Brown's vote. Why didn't she participate -- even if by phone -- is a fair question, as hers would have been the deciding vote in a 2-2 standoff.

Brown now suddenly says she was opposed to the $1 million cash settlement, bu there is no indication anywhere that she ever expressed such an opinion or objected to the award.

The only thing for which there IS evidence is her statements at the February 9 Commissioners' 'committee meeting' where she advocates that the cash for the settlement be raised by giving workers unpaid furloughs --
"Several scenarios on how to pay for the former executive’s settlement of $182,000 per year ... Commissioner Brown is in favor of the furlough of two days or so by current employees of the Authority ... Commissioner Dunn expressed the desire to pay the former executives their first installment regardless by this coming Tuesday...Commissioner[s] Dunn and Sanders expressed that we need to find the money from somewhere." (The complete PMUA minutes are online here.)"
As Councilor Cory Storch said regarding reabsorbing the PMUA workers into the city workforce, the most dangerous enemy the workers have is the PMUA commissioners -- and Brown has offered proof of the truth of Storch's remark.

In her desperation, Brown has not only reinvented her PMUA history, she has made unfounded allegations against candidate Roni Taylor of personal attacks on Brown and her church -- which Taylor flatly denies (see here).

I am convinced that the Rev. Brown would be a disastrous choice for the people of Plainfield for two reasons --
  • First, she gives no evidence of deep awareness of the issues facing the City and, by extension, the City Council; and

  • Second, she is clearly a shill for Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, with the purpose of giving Robinson-Briggs a bullet-proof majority on the Council.
Voters have to ask themselves: Do we really want to give Mayor Robinson-Briggs a free rein to continue to run Plainfield into the ground?

I'll be voting for Roni Taylor, Row 7B.

And diligent, thoughtful and responsible leadership.

Roni Taylor with Dr. Inez Durham at recent Library event.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

This is a plea to the people of Plainfield. You say you want a better place to live. Well, Tracy and Haqq do not bring any vision or leadership skills to the table. Mapp at least knows his money, and Roni has been involved in Plainfield and will voice her opinion.

If you do not get out to vote, there will be at least 6 more years where the council will provide no forward thinking or improvement for Plainfield.

Look, you cannot sell your house at this time for what it should be, we don't have a school system worth anything, we don't have a downtown.

What do you have to lose by voting for people who want to make things better.

Personally, I do not believe that an upscale flea market is a great economic plan for Plainfield (Haqq's thought)


jean said...

Rev Brown should be ashamed of herself. If she stands in the pulpit every sunday and asks her congregation to follow God's teachings and do the right thing, then she should be worried about where she going to be standing on judgement day. Sometimes people have to realize just because someone preaches in front of the church doesn't always mean they were called by God.

Bob said...

I'm appalled that a minister would be so dishonest and play political games. She will be a disaster for Plainfield and if she gets elected, then the voters get what they deserve. I am scared and may consider moving from the city I love if people like Brown and Haqq get on the Council and take us deeper into the hole we're in.

Alan Goldstein said...

Don't forget the many $100,000s in healthcare benefits that Commissioner-Reverend Brown, along with many other commissioners, have literally stolen from the PMUA and its ratepayers over the years.

Those who have engaged in the theft, and those who've thus far let it slide despite the compensation limitations set by Municipal Ordinance and PMUA's own Bylaws, have to be challenged and held accountable.

There is a whole crew (call it a gang if you will) who believe that being a public official is a license to take, and take, and take.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that vote for Brown and Haqq are crazy Plainfield will be nothing but a big ghetto. Two totally incompetent people that will do whatever they are told. Did Haqq and Green kiss and make up? How did Haqq get aligned with Green and his camp?

Anonymous said...

So Alan, I hope you are going to vote. Remeber, Bridgette Rivers won by 1 vote.

Anonymous said...

Was disturbed at home yesterday, during a family lunch, by an automated call from the Rev. Tracy Brown. This on a Sunday!!! The caller ID showed 908-245-1006 Union County the originating party. I subsequently tried to loc...ate a tel No. for this Rev. Tracy Brown so I could complain about her intrusion into my Sunday hours...of course couldnt locate HER Home number....what a pity. As a so called reverend doesnt she know Sunday is a Christian day of respite from the ugly world of money and politics...shame on her!!! In our 20yr history in this City, seems we have yet another in the long line of politicians with no respect for the Plainfield residents and are only interested in self-aggrandisement......

Anonymous said...

The people who read this blog, and subsequent comments, are already aligned with the right people to support. I see that as a given.

My question is how on earth do you reach the majority of registered voters, who to date have been satisfied with being in the wilderness, and making uninformed choices in the voting booth? Raise the collective consciousness of the many, the few are already there.

Anonymous said...

Just fielded yet another robo call from candidate Brown. The powers that be want her in, something fierce!!!

The gang of thieves are most active!

Anonymous said...

@11:05 - a quick Google search reveals that number to be a Union County Democratic Committee phone number. So not only do they believe in interrupting your day of rest, but they also are backing the Rev.

I've gotten 4 of the yelling robocalls from Brown's campaign since noon yesterday. At this point, I'm considering voting for Romney out of spite.

olddoc said...

11:05 am 908-245-1006 Is the phone for the Union County Democratic Headquarters. Apparently "Commissioner " sound more official.

I wonder how these calls (I had two) will appear on nher campaign expenses sheet?

Anonymous said...

908-245-1006 is probably maintained by the PMUA itself. Ever question why PMUA has monthly phone bills in excess of $3000??? HMMM

Anonymous said...

Help me out here folks - so your anonymous comments suggest we all vote for a particular candidate, but you wouldn't sign your name to the endorsement, so, like, huh, we are supposed to listen to you. I don't get it.

Just imagine if Obama said I have previous Presidents who endorse me but I can't tell you who they are. grrr


once again confused in Netherwood, jim spear