Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jerry Green's outrageous Muhlenberg maneuver

Residents fought against Muhlenberg's 2008 closure.

Assemblyman Jerry Green and former Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs surprised everyone by showing up at last Thursday's community meeting at Clinton School on the future of the Muhlenberg Hospital campus.

One must remember that Assemblyman Green has kept a very low profile on Muhlenberg over the years since it was closed in August 2008, never appearing or speaking at the numerous public meetings, discussions or observances regarding the closed hospital (except for the highly erratic 'Community Advisory Group' which was supposed to monitor Solaris' compliance, and which former Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs chaired).

Jerry's most memorable statement -- until last week -- was telling attendees at a 2008 rally in support of keeping the hospital open that it was 'time to move on'.

Robinson-Briggs forfeited any credibility concerning Muhlenberg by failing to ever take up her seat on Muhlenberg's board at all during her 8-year tenure as mayor.

By the time Jerry rose to speak last Thursday, many residents had already made the point that the only outcome they desired was for a healthcare-related use for the Muhlenberg property -- with total opposition to JFK's proposal for more than 600 apartments.

Jerry led off his remarks by mumbling that the problem with the JFK proposal for luxury apartments was that there were too many units. When given pushback by resident Robin Wright, Jerry changed his words and said, 'Read my lips -- NO UNITS'.

We would do well to recall Jerry's long history of financial entanglement with JFK.

It was news to all that Jerry was VP for Local Affairs
of a Westfield-based lobbying group (from their website).

For years, he 'advocated' for the hospital before eventually 'working on projects' involving Muhlenberg when he was (secretly) Vice President for Local Affairs of the Westfield-based lobbyist The Alman Group. The Courier's exposure of the Alman relationship caused Green great embarrassment and the sudden resignation from the firm (see a summary with links to the contemporary stories here). It later came out that Green never declared his relationship with Alman on his financial disclosure forms -- despite rumors in the community that Muhlenberg was paying $5,000 a month, or $60,000 a year, for Green's 'advocacy'.

Even before that, in 2003 Green had proposed a $150 million project to build a middle school on the Muhlenberg campus (see Courier story archived here). The deal would have helped ease Muhlenberg's indebtedness. At the time, Green stated that if the deal didn't go through, the hospital's future was in jeopardy.

Ever eager to transactionalize his endeavors, Jerry's school proposal also included a provision that contracts for the project would be under local control -- suggesting possibilities for abuse in their awarding. (Shades of the Liberty Village PILOT dispute!)

Unfortunately for Jerry, he picked the wrong phrase to underscore his seriousness by quoting Poppy Bush's famous 'read my lips' statement, one of the all-time unfortunate political one-liners (see here).

As I see it, Jerry Green is frightened by the prospect of his primary candidates Gloria Taylor, Charles Eke and Diane Toliver being swept away over their support of JFK's proposal for over 600 apartments.

Just as Poppy Bush disregarded his 'read my lips' promise and raised taxes, Jerry is likely to have a change of heart the day after the Primary election and go back to supporting JFK's proposal for 600 apartment units.

Voters will be wise to be wary.

The third, and final, community meeting on Muhlenberg takes place Tuesday, April 29, at 7:00 PM at the Emerson Community School, East 3rd Street and Emerson Avenue. Parking available in the school lot and on the street.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Hello Dan, as soon as it came out of Jerry Greens mouth I knew it was worth spit. Although Jerry Green, by his own admission “runs this town”, the decision to grant JFK a variance most likely will be left up to the city council. This is how Jerry will claim it wasn’t him that made the decision. That is why he choose who would run for city council without so much of a discussion from the democratic committed. Is this a democracy or a dictatorship? His plan is to get his slate elected and allow them to do his bidding. We must stop Jerry and his decision to put up 660 units on the Muhlenberg site. I said it before and I’ll say it again, if Green is successful at carrying out JFK’s proposal, it would make very little difference to him that he went back on his word and ruin his chances to be re-elected. I’m sure his plan is to retire after that. Why do you think he mention his health??? All leading up to a legitimate reason. Is this all speculation? Yes, it is but, even a blind man can see the writing on the wall. 2nd and 3rd ward we must work hard to him and his efforts to ruin our neighborhood.

Robin Bright

Anonymous said...

Green is a liar. If there is money in it for him he will do anything to get it. He should have stayed away from the meeting. Please Gerry take Gloria, Vera, and Bill with you. Jury is still out on Tracy.

Anonymous said...

Forget about the past. I want to know now. What will Mayor Mapp do?

Dottie Gutenkauf said...

If anyone goes and checks the "citations," in your blog entry, here's what they'll find: (1) in 2003, Jerry Green proposed building a new middle school and linking it with Muhlenberg in order to save the hospital; (2)in 2007, Jerry Green was making serious attempts to get state funding to save the hospital; and (3) Jerry Green was able to get state approval for emergency angioplasties at Muhlenberg, even though it had been denied in 1997.

These were cited in your blog today In addition, when JFK announced their plan to close Muhlenberg, Jerry Green spoke at our meetings and rallies, and testified before the State Health Planning Board, urging that the hospital be kept open.

Last week at the community meeting, he said "NO UNITS," which I for one thought was pretty clear.

A word to the wise: don't believe everything you read on blogs (or what you hear on Fox "news) brought to you by people who have an axe to grind.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Dottie, he said "No Units" AFTER he said "600 units are too much".

Where has he been all this time? The fact is, he is a blowhard who protects his own interests only. By his own statement, he is the second most "powerful" person in the Assembly, and has the Governor's ear. Well, Mr. Powerful and Mr. Influential - why can you not get a medical facility re-instated?

You are a good friend to him, Dottie, but I, for one, think he is a slime bucket.