There are more than 43 quintillion possible positions...
...but the Rubik's Cube puzzle can be solved in under 100 moves.
Solving the Rubik's Cube of Plainfield politics will determine whether the city moves forward at all under soon-to-be-sworn-in Mayor-elect Adrian Mapp.
As Plainfield Today predicted, Gloria Taylor, retired educator and widow of the late mayor Rick Taylor, was selected by the City Council in a 5-1 vote at Monday evening's special Council meeting to fill Mapp's vacant Ward 3 seat until the next general election.
The other two items on the agenda -- appointing members to the African-Caribbean Commission and to the Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) -- were passed as proposed by outgoing Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs without any changes.
The alignment of the Council majority (now expected to be enhanced with Taylor on board) puts the issue of learning to live with compromise on the front burner.
In my thirty years of watching and participating in Plainfield politics it seems that the three major forces -- Mayor, Council and Democratic Party chair -- have never been on the same page more than momentarily. The result has been that Plainfield lags behind other New Jersey communities in developing economic opportunities and taking care of the needs of its residents for jobs and services.
It all reminds me of Rubik's Cube, the popular twisty puzzle invented in the 1970s. A cube with nine boxes in six different colors on each side, and twistable in every direction, the point is to rearrange the boxes so that each side of the cube is composed of boxes of one color (read more about Rubik's Cube here).
There are more than 43 quintillion individual positions for the little boxes (that's 43 followed by 18 zeroes). Despite the mind-boggling number of combinations, it is possible to solve the puzzle in under one hundred moves.
And that seems to me to be a good metaphor for the challenge now facing Mayor-elect Mapp, the newly aligned Council and Democratic Party chairperson Assemblyman Jerry Green.
Will they solve it successfully?
Only time will tell.
-- Dan Damon [follow]