The $1 million severance package for former Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA) executives Eric Watson and David Ervin came to mind at once when I read of the settlement made with Rahway's city administrator and redevelopment director Peter H. Pellissier (refresh your memory on the PMUA matter here).
Rahway's City Council on Monday agreed to a severance package of $163, 344, as reported by blogger Mark Hrywna on his Rahway Rising blog (see here).
It should be noted that Pellissier has served since 1991 -- with the exception of four years -- and as redevelopment director was responsible for tens of millions of dollars of developmennt and redevelopment in Rahway over the years.
Despite bummers such as the failed Dornoch project (another development scheme of Plainfield's Senior Center developer, Glen Fishman), Pellissier oversaw many successful mixed use projects that have transformed downtown Rahway, plus an aggressive plan for the development of an arts district.
Given the value that Pellissier has brought to Rahway, the skimpiness of the $163K severance package contrasts sharply with the lavishness of the $1 million settlement on Watson and Ervin that was personally engineered by then newly-appointed Commissioner Malcolm R. Dunn and alternate Cecil Sanders, with help from Commissioner Alex Toliver.
(An interesting sidelight is that Pellissier's agreement was by a 6-0 vote of the Rahway City Council, with three members absent. Among the absent was 5th Ward Councilor Jennifer Wenson-Maier, whom Plainfielders will recall with varying amounts of contempt as Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' first Department of Public Works and Urban Development director.)
Nor are Plainfield ratepayers finished with unpleasant changes at the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA).
With a new alignment of the City Council after January 1 and the swearing-in of Robinson-Briggs' pastor, the Rev. Tracey Brown, as councilor at-large, we can expect the Mayor to once again move the appointment of Sanders as a permanent member and the demotion of former mayor Harold Mitchell to alternate status. Brown, who attended her last meeting as a PMUA Commissioners on Tuesday, will have to step down as she assumes her council seat, and that PMUA vacancy will also have to be filled.
- Rahway Rising: "City administrator on the way out"
- Plainfield Today: "Ex-PMUA execs in $1.2M severance skullduggery"