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Friday, August 23, 2013

Sharon using city money to campaign for NAACP presidency?

Is Sharon trying to use City money to campaign for NAACP office?

Is Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs trying to use City money to campaign for the NAACP's state presidency?

Mayor Robinson-Briggs is said to have sent an email to department heads Wednesday that the planned 'Community Appreciation Day' slated for this Saturday on West 3rd Street between Liberty Street and Plainfield Avenue would not be allowed to take place as Her Honor was withholding her (required) signature from the street encroachment permit.

City Council had approved the street closure Monday evening, after former Councilor Joanne Hollis had made a presentation to the Council on behalf of the event at the August 12 agenda-setting session.

It appears that the Mayor applied for a permit on Wednesday, August 21, for the use of Hannah Atkins Park at the same time for a 'baseball game and community event'. That is two days after the Council's approval of the first event.

Staff members were aghast when the mayor's initial proposal to spend approximately $7,000 on the event was upped to $20,000.

You should know that the Mayor's budget for the entire 2013 year has been spent down to zero, meaning that any money for her Saturday event would have to come from other funds. It would be improper, if not illegal, for Mayor Robinson-Briggs to take money from any other account without Council approval -- which she is not seeking.

For those who have a sense of déjà vu all over again, this sounds like a replay of the bad movie where Sharon misappropriated $15,000 meant for July 4 Parade expenses to cover the cost of the infamous WBLS broadcast of her 2011 Town Hall meeting. The pressure on employees to kow-tow to Her Honor's whim reminded many of the prior fiasco.

Supposedly, she leaned on Administration and Finance Director Al Restaino to get the $20,000 appropriation on an emergency basis from the county-administered CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) program in order to replace monies she would (improperly) spend on Saturday's event. County officials are said to have told Mayor Robinson-Briggs that she would have to make her appeal directly to the Freeholders, whose regular meeting was last night.

A Plainfield resident who attended the Freeholder meeting told me later that Mayor Robinson-Briggs was not in attendance and the matter was not brought up there. Checking the City's website early Friday, it appears the event has been rescheduled (see screen capture below). Meanwhile, the West 3rd Street folks have rescheduled their event for next month. Thank you, Sharon!

As of this morning, the event appears to be postponed.

In announcing her candidacy for NAACP office, Sharon said
she would be in Washington, DC, on Saturday.

My suspicions about Sharon's motives are raised by two coincidental facts --

  1. She applied for a permit for the use of Hannah Atkins Park, which the Mayor need not do if an event is city-sponsored; and

  2. In her letter announcing her candidacy for the statewide NAACP presidency (see my post on her announcement here), Mayor Robinson-Briggs asserted that she would be in Washington, DC on August 24, commemorating the 50th anniersary of Dr. King's 'March on Washington'.
Is Sharon planning to use City money in her campaign for the statewide NAACP presidency?

What do you think?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

I hope the council have this felon put in jail. If the city administrator sign off on this kind of crap he needs to be fired immediately.

olddoc said...

Dan, Our municipal code requires the mayor to veto an ordinance within a specific number of days (20?). I there any provision to prevent a pocket veto of a resolution ? The third street type deal should not be permitted.

Anonymous said...

This is terrible. the problem is she will be gone when the investigation start and more city funds will be used.

Anonymous said...

So this is the deal...We have a Lame Duck Mayor who is hell bent on continuing her abuse of office. No one seems to be able to stop her. Why is that? Why can't our elected officials (Assemblyman, City Council) rein her in? It seems she has Absolute Power!!! In addition to the Lame Duck Mayor, there is the Lame Duck Director(s) of Public Safety and Public Works. Who is minding the store? Seems we all have the same issues regarding quality of life (dirty streets, speeding, abandoned properties etc. They sit back biding their time on our dime. What do we get??? NOTHING!!! Does any know if Her Highness will be relocating after her rein is over? Lets hope so.

Bill Michelson said...

I am posting this note to note that no one seems to be posting notes lately on Dan's blog. Come on people, when I don't see some of the usual gripes about local affairs, my day just isn't complete!!

Anonymous said...

No say it isn't so I'm sure she wouldn't do such a thing. besides she may be too busy trying to get her buddies promoted at the police department before she leaves office and costs the city even more money with civil litigation

Bob said...

Shady Sharonda strikes again.