Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sharon: The mayor who thinks she is Queen

Is my crown on straight?

Plainfield City Council president Ray Blanco once exploded when Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs rose to speak at a Council meeting, intending to offer her nominations to several boards and commissions in an inappropriate manner (see my 2006 blog post here).

He remarked to me privately at the time that he wondered if she thought she were the Queen of England, believing she had the power of making things happen by fiat.

I was reminded of the incident with two of Her Honor's recent forays: the promotion of a passel of police officers to the rank of lieutenant, and the 'signing' ceremony for the African-Caribbean Commission.

The police promotions have caused a stir because they were done outside the requirement by law that the cost of salary increases for the promotees must have been budgeted before the promotions can be made. Was there budgetary provision? Nope. Sharon, queenlike, promoted by fiat.

Blogger David Rutherford's confusing report of the goings-on surrounding the African-Caribbean Commission (see his port here) 'kick off' on Friday, November 8, raises more questions.

It is billed as a 'signing' in Rutherford's report. But a signing of what? The ordinance establishing the Commission was passed on September 9 and would have had to be signed long ago in order to avoid a 'pocket veto'. So, was this just a ceremonial 'signing'? Rutherford does not enlighten us.

Then there is the question of the Commission's 'members'.

With very few exceptions, the members of boards and commissions are nominated by the Mayor and appointed with the advice and consent of the governing body. (There are exceptions, such as where the governor has a designee.)

Also, all board and commissions (with the exception of two) are appointed on a January 1 to December 31 basis.

In the case of this Commission, we apparently have members appointed by the Mayor's fiat, to terms that do not conform with standard practice. What is going on here?

Which brings us to tonight's Council agenda.

There are always line-item transfers of funds in the last two months of the year, and 2013 is no exception. However, looking closely leads me to suspect that the Mayor is up to something sneaky.

There are several items in the resolution (373-13) up for a vote tonight that have a suspicious odor, transferring funds as follows --

  • $131,000 to the Police Division;
  • $72,000 to Economic Development;
  • $10,000 to Information Technology; and
  • $45,000 to Media
It seems that the money to the Police Division may be an ex post facto effort to cobble together funding to cover the police promotions into the new budget year.

Is the $72,000 for Economic Development intended to rescue the Deputy Director's job, which Mayor Robinson-Briggs omitted to fund through proper budget appropriations?

The money for IT and Media are evidently intended to cover for outrageous budget-busting overspending by those units.

What will the Council do tonight?

Will the Mayor who thinks she is Queen be held to account?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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


Anonymous said...

don't forget adrians money to bring on his positions

Anonymous said...

Nice "photoshop". Too bad she stinks up the crown!

Randy Schaeffer said...

Dan..I think you are creating conditions that are not conducive to the success of Adrian goal of "one plainfield". I support but I am a bit troubled the venom in some your commentary. You are now at a point where you are going to have to make a choice between being an official part of Adrian team (which you seem eager to convey) or continuing to be a needler in a haystack. In fairness to Adrian you can't do both.

Anonymous said...

No she will not.
She made promotions just to take care of certain people who should never gotten promoted in the first place. One that spent less then 8 months on the road and has been a house mouse ever since. Another sits around and preaches how they change there life and found God

David Rutherford said...

Confusing? lol ... it was a simple event. They had a mission statement, they talked a little bit about black people uniting, calling it a "historic occasion in plainfield". Signing what? The paper that makes the committee official...that's what the implication was.


Anonymous said...

Off with her head!