Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sharon's woes deepen as Dottie Gutenkauf backs Mapp

Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.
Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' re-election woes only deepened Wednesday after Plainfield Democratic doyen Dottie Gutenkauf announced on her blog, Dottie G. Sez, that she was supporting Councilor Adrian Mapp in the mayoral race (see Dottie's post here).

Acknowledging her previous support for Robinson-Briggs and the Mayor's kindnesses towards her and her late husband, Joe, Dottie nevertheless declares that as a mayor, Robinson-Briggs has been 'a disaster', in particular with regard to the struggle over the closure of Muhlenberg Hospital. Muhlenberg is a cause in which both Dottie and Joe were prominent and her disappointment in Robinson-Briggs' lack of effectiveness is well-detailed. You will want to read Dottie's complete post for yourself (here).

Meanwhile, City Hall is abuzz with the signs of distress surrounding Robinson-Briggs' re-election campaign. Insiders tell me Robinson-Briggs is frustrated with her inability to raise what she feels is the necessary level of funding and the relative reluctance of City employees to involve themselves in her campaign as volunteers. (She is not totally bereft of supporters; Registrar of Vital Statistics Barbara Wynn has been seen at the mayor's headquarters almost daily. In fact, some think the reflective Mylar that keeps passersby from seeing who is in the headquarters is to shield the identity of City employees working on the campaign during business hours.)

The mayor's ham-handedness has put off even her supporters. Dottie cites the bizarre proclamations Sharon handed out at a recent Democratic City Committee meeting. Others point to poor publicity for a so-called 'design charette' to drum up ideas for 4th Ward revitalization that was held at Ruth Fellowship last week. Council members found out only hours before the meeting and residents of Elmwood Gardens (a major topic of discussion) were poorly informed. And 4th Ward go-to person Robert Edwards was never informed of the charette at all.

Then there is the Police Division, in which she continues to personally intervene on behalf of favored cops. This time around, one of her former bodyguards is said to have appealed directly to Robinson-Briggs to rescind a disciplinary move, which the Mayor was said to be happy to do. (So much for the independence of the civilian police director touted by Mr. Hellwig in his Charter Study Commission interview last week.)

Meanwhile, some of her top lieutenants are said to be eyeing the exits. City Administrator Eric Berry is said to be already circulating his resumé and Information Technology Director Chris Payne is said to be finagling a possible return to the Plainfield Public Schools.

The next four weeks are certainly going to be interesting, and even more so now that Dottie Gutenkauf has entered the lists.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Rebecca Williams said...


I feel that the charette issue needs clarification. I was invited by Councilwoman Brown to this presentation about 2 weeks earlier--not hours before. She, along with Ruth Fellowship Ministries, were very gracious hosts and it was a good event. However, had it not been for Councilwoman Brown extending the invitation to me (and my colleagues) to come to what we all thought was a community meeting, I would not have known about it.

I had no idea that it was a full charette with Dr. Anglin and Rutgers, or that the city was involved--the mayor was in attendance, along with her husband and Jacques Howard. I have expressed my displeasure about the lack of communication regarding city issues directly to the administration. The flyer that the city was supposed to have sent to promote it apparently was sent on the DAY OF the event--I never received it--nor did anyone from the administration contact me about this. It was only after the fact that I received a thank you for participating.

I received many complaints that the administration did not advertise the event at Elmwood Gardens or throughout the 4th Ward--well, they didn't even let the city council know! Yet a flyer was produced at the last minute and distributed (somewhere).

This project has ramifications for the whole city, and yet stakeholders (especially those in the immediate vicinity) were not aware of this very important presentation. This is unacceptable, especially since the date was confirmed by the city two weeks in advance. I don't understand why something as simple as sending out a notification to the governing body remains such a difficult task for this administration--but, it's par for the course.


Bob said...

It's never surprising how Sharon will break the law, use public workers on her campaign and continue to be "ham fisted". I was wondering about the reflective cover on her "headquarters". You would think any politician would want to let people see in. Sharon has never been one for transparency and still isn't. Good riddence to bad rubbish.

Anonymous said...

She is a great role model. The city ORDINANCE states that no more than 1/3 of a window can be covered. Notice the mayor's campaign headquarters is fully covered.

Barbara Wynn supports the mayor because she may lose her job. It has to be that. People cannot be blind to how ineffective she is.

Veritas said...


Even with Chris Payne's supposed return to the Public Schools, his support for the mayor may not be that tenuous. He had his staff solicie signatures from the BOE in support for the mayor. This action was summarily declined by the staff at the BOE.

If Chris couldn't solicite support from the BOE, a return may not be plausible at this moment.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor has a few supporters at the Police Department too. You know the ones that she created positions for to get them promoted. and the ones that cry to her when they don't do there jobs and get disciplined. Oh wait they don't get disciplined after they cry. That is the reason you need a CHIEF not a political PUPPET. You don't have these issues at the Fire Department. They have a CHIEF

Anonymous said...

I was shocked and amazed to see that a Sergeant from the Police Department is doing security at City Hall. You mean to tell me that we as tax payers are paying him 100,000.00 plus a year to man a sign in sheet and hand out the key to the Rest Room. How crated this position Martin or Sharon or was this a joint venture.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that we are paying a Sergeant over 100,000.00 dollars a year to watch a sign in sheet and hand out the key to the rest rooms at city hall.

Anonymous said...

Common Guys this is common sense you MUST have a ARMED Officer at City Hall no matter who the Mayor is, especially in these times.

you see comments like this is why we (Plainfield) is in the dumps.

Anonymous said...

Common Sense.
Are you out of your MIND put a police officer there if needed.
Not a Sergeant making 100,000.00 plus a year. Hire a security guard.

Anonymous said...

Dear 550 am
Are you out of your mind. You must be one of the ones Sharon and Marty created positions to promote you.

Anonymous said...

People regardless of what the salary is or if it's Sargent or what there needs to be a Armed Person at City Hall. you can banter and bicker all you want granted 100k for a police officer is a lot yes perhaps you should be talking about that instead of having a armed person at City Hall. Again regardless of who is occuping the position of Mayor there should be someone there. Typical Us (PLAINFIELD) upset over salary BTW no I am not one of the Mayor and Marty's people just a person with common sense.