Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sticky-fingered Sharon strikes again

Mayor Sharon ponders constitutional issues...

As Plainfield Councilor Adrian Mapp points out in his current blog post (see here), Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' decision to appoint herself acting city administrator until October 6 -- and to demand to be paid for it --puts the City and its employees in a bind.

Councilor Mapp focuses on the matter of the pay: no matter how short a time she serves as acting city administrator, he holds, she is not entitled to an increase in her remuneration, which is set by ordinance.

My attention is caught by the very circumstances under which Mayor Robinson-Briggs seeks to exercise the 'acting' city administrator role.

Section 3.7 of the Charter, which deals with the Mayor's powers, allows for the Mayor acting as a department head in case of an emergency which is defined as a 'clear and present danger to the public health, safety or welfare'.

As I see it, absent such a declaration -- which would have to specify the nature of the emergency and include notifying the state -- Sharon has no authority to appoint herself acting city administrator at all (with or without any special payment).

Further, any actions taken by her during such a declared emergency (including the spending of funds), would have to be retroactively approved by the Council after the 'emergency' was deemed ended.

Why does everything with Sharon always come down to a question of money? The amount involved may seem paltry (perhaps $2,500 or so), which leads one to wonder what on earth is so important about it. Perhaps Sharon needs the cash for expenses concerned with her bid for the State NAACP presidency?

What is to be done?

Well, the Council could sue, but that seems a pointless waste of even more money. Or the Council could complain to the Department of Community Affairs, citing the lack of a declared emergency and ask for a ruling against Mayor Robinson-Briggs, including a demand to return the money to the city if she has already bullied her way into getting it.

What do you think?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

View today's CLIPS here. Not getting your own CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.


Anonymous said...

Book her Dano

Anonymous said...

How much does the NAACP pay its President?

Anonymous said...

A whole lot of people voted for her over and over and over again. It would have happened again if it weren't the the party dumping her. I just can't wait to leave Plainfield and New Jersey all together. This city's infrastructure at least 40 years out of date. In my opinion, it will take that long to catch up.

Anonymous said...

I think the Mayor should receive her regular pay as Mayor and Acting Pay as City Administrator. In doing so, this will allow any city employee that served in an Acting capacity in any position, go back and request compensation retroactively as no one that I am aware of was entitle to being paid for both positions and only received acting pay for the position they were acting in