The needler in the haystack.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Was Sharon trying to poison us all and drown our kids?

Once again, Plainfielders' attention is being drawn to the failures and incompetence of former mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs' administration -- now with restaurant health inspections and the safety of our public pools.

In a front-page story in Sunday's Courier News print edition, reporter Sergio Bichao does his usual excellent job in digging into the details of a story -- this time the long-term failure of the Robinson-Briggs administration to conduct timely state-mandated health inspections of Plainfield's 325 food establishments (see story here). The story includes an interactive map of all food service locations, with indications of their last inspection.

If I have one quibble with the Courier, it is the alarmist tone of both the print headline (Eat, drink and be wary in Plainfield) and the online headline (Restaurants in this city went years without inspections). They paint with too broad a brush -- but of course the point is to get you to click on the link or pick up the paper and read.

What, if anything, was on Sharon's mind?

Robinson-Briggs fired both health officer Jadwiga Warwas and inspector Randy Mascaritolo, causing the inspections program to fall hopelessly behind. Did she intend to put everyone who dines out in Plainfield in harm's way? That would be a stretch, but her failure to address -- or perhaps even comprehend -- the magnitude of the problem boggles the mind.

Thankfully, as Mayor Mapp's new Health Officer Denise Proctor says in Bichao's report, there have been no reports of food-related illness in Plainfield.

But this is not the only lapse by Robinson-Briggs that endangered the public.

In the course of opening the city's three pools for the summer season, Recreation Superintendent Veronica Taylor was unable to locate state-mandated logs for the operation of the pools.

These logs are required by the state and track the usage, supervision, incidents and conditions of the pools while they are in operation.

Moving ahead, required health inspections of the pools, their equipment and water quality were scheduled -- only to discover that under the Robinson-Briggs administration this required inspection and certification had never been done.

Further, one of the three pools did not have the safeguards required to prevent youngsters being sucked into the outflow vents and drowning, a safety precaution that has been required for years. Plainfield's children were put at risk every time they used that pool during the Robinson-Briggs administration.

Again, who could imagine Robinson-Briggs would allow such a failure? Where was the oversight of the Recreation Division?

Thank God we have now got a mayor who is truly putting the interest of the public above all else, and capable division leadership to ensure the public's safety.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

The downtown area is a mess with many clothing stores also selling food and setting goods outside on the sidewalk. Why is this still being allowed? Inspections also needs to go downtown. Mr. Green was behind most of the actions in City Hall in the first few years of Mayor SRB. He was in City Hall every day! How many more years will the taxpayers of Plainfield be paying for his mistakes?

Bob said...

So much for Sharon and her mentor trying to get her back into politics. Sharon has been out of touch with reality for years and this story does not come as a surprise. I wonder if her followers on the City Council are paying attention.

Bob Bolmer
City Committee Rep. Ward 2, Dist. 1

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan lets be honest the New Guys not doing much better

Anonymous said...

What happened to the computer program that told the office who was inspected and who was not? Does the city charge the food business the fee if from past years inspection fee/food license if they missed the inspection? What about the lady who sells food from a cart downtown does she have to be inspected?