Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Will Rivers be denied the 4th Ward line?

When Plainfield City Council President Bridget Rivers failed to make an appearance last Friday at the reception for mayoral candidate Adrian Mapp to which the entire community had been invited, tongues were set wagging.

Was she snubbing the man who would likely be her running mate in November? Was her joined-at-the-hip relationship with Robinson-Briggs going to complicate the Primary? Was she preparing to run -- as she had done in 2009 -- on her 'independence'? Was Jerry looking for a more reliably team player? Or was he looking to reshape the 4th Ward game completely?

Rivers took great pains to emphasize her independence in her 2009 run, distancing herself from both the New Democrats and the Regular Democratic Organization (RDO) alike. She won against her RDO opponent, Vera Greaves, by just a handful of votes.

In the opening phase of her term, she emphasized her 'independence', but that emphasis softened when her employment situation changed.

As time went by, Rivers and Mayor Robinson-Briggs developed a working relationship that verged on becoming Siamese twins, with Robinson-Briggs and Rivers even sharing a joint fundraiser at Hugo's.

(An exception was the flap over the Mayor's permitting a carnival at Hannah Atkins on short notice last October without taking Rivers' constituency into account, resulting in Rivers joining in the unanimous override of the Mayor's vetoes of three ordinances setting some framework for such events.)

Once Rivers became council president in 2013, Robinson-Briggs magically reappeared at Council meetings -- which she had boycotted for months -- and the two were even seen exchanging 'high fives' after the January 14 Council meeting (see my post here). Moreover, at the January 22 meeting (see my post here), Rivers joined with Brown, Greaves and Reid to carry a resolution for the taxpayers to pay for the Mayor's personal legal expenses in the affair of the misappropriated $20,000 used to pay for a WBLS radio broadcast in 2010.

With Robinson-Briggs' loss of the Union County Democratic organization's backing, Rivers is faced with a quandary: Is she going to sever her ties with Robinson-Briggs to get the line, or will she run off the RDO line to be with her buddy?

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Green has problems of his own to deal with as the local party chair and as a legislator who is up for re-election this year and facing a Republican opponent who is hoping to eat into Jerry's vote total.

Will Green be looking for a more reliable team player than Rivers in this difficult 'Year of Christie'?

Plainfield will be looked at to make an overarching effort to deliver the votes needed for a large plurality in the 22nd Legislative District. Will it be easier or harder with Rivers on the line?

Lastly, there is the possibility that Chairman Green could use this year's Primary to reshape the 4th Ward situation for years to come.

Consider this: If Green does not give the 4th Ward line to Rivers, but instead gives it to another, totally reliable, person like Vera Greaves, he would change the 4th Ward game significantly and for years to come.

Firstly, Greaves would win the seat in the push to defeat Christie in November. Secondly, when Greaves would step down from her current at-large seat after November to take up her new 4th Ward seat in January 2014, Green would have the opportunity to select a 4th Ward Councilor more to his liking.

How will it all shake out? Those who are inveterate Oz-watchers (to borrow Olddoc's phrase) will not want to miss this Friday night's Plainfield Democratic City Committee meeting, where all will be made clear.

As for Councilor Rivers' future, it's like birds sitting on a wire -- it all seems effortless, except when it doesn't work out.

Plainfield Democratic City Committee

Friday, March 22
7:00 PM (Note corrected time)

18 Roosevelt Avenue
(the former Obama for President Headquarters)
Parking on the street and in the lot behind the building.

Guests are always welcome.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bob said...

As Council President Rivers has been a joke. I have been at most of the Council meetings and she is so pro-Sharon, that everyone notices. Rivers no longer represents the people of Plainfield or her ward, but her and Sharon's own special interests. I'm embarrassed when I see her sitting at the front like a little dictator. She and Sharon do have a lot in common. Good riddence to bad rubbish!

Anonymous said...

What was the change in Rivers' "employment situation" and how would that change anything?