Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

(2017 Dem Primary) Retired Police Captain El-Amin reviews candidates, endorses Mapp

The Mapp Team. Front row: candidates Steve Hockaday,
Mayor Mapp and Joylette Mills-Ransome are on the June ballot.

I am pleased to offer for your consideration the following guest column received from retired Plainfield Police Captain Siddeeq W. El Amin, whom I have known and respected for more than twenty years --
In the City of Plainfield, as we all know, there are four candidates campaigning and competing to be elected in the June 6 Primary Election for the right to advance to the General Elections for the Office of Mayor of the City of Plainfield.

One candidate is the incumbent, Mayor Adrian O Mapp. Another candidate is, in my opinion, a little known resident seeking his first elected position in Plainfield. And then there are the two veteran candidates also seeking the Office of Mayor. I want to talk about the two veteran candidates.

In January 2014, in the auditorium of Plainfield High School, during the Municipal Council Reorganization Meeting, when Mayor Adrian Mapp offered two candidates for confirmation into his new cabinet, then-City Council President, Bridgett Rivers, made a speech about the candidates, stating that one of them had some major personal issues that needed to be investigated before any action could be taken on his nomination.

This [position] was also supported by then-Councilwoman Tracey Brown, Councilman William Reid and newly elected Councilwoman Gloria Taylor.

Mind you, Council President Rivers, Councilors Brown and Reid all had an opportunity to interview and “interrogate” the candidate in private session in the Municipal Court Chambers prior to the Reorganization Meeting. None of them posed any probing questions if they believed that there were “issues that needed to be investigated.”

In making the announcement of an investigation and calling for an official city council investigation into the matter, Rivers and Brown together made the insinuation that the candidate’s reputation and character were being called into question, all in an open public meeting.

Needless to say, both Rivers and Brown never followed through with their investigation, never responded to requests on the status of the investigation, and, according to Plainfield Corporation Counsel, no special investigator was ever contracted as Rivers said would happen. All the while the candidates’ reputation was held as suspect. This went on for almost three years.

In mid-2016, during a City Council meeting, the “citizen candidate” made a final appeal to the [sitting] City Council for an apology from each of them and restoration the reputation of the citizen. All the then sitting Councilors extended their apologies for the travesty that occurred, with Councilwoman Brown being the reluctant last to apologize.

Councilwoman Bridgett Rivers, the leader of the initial false and malicious slander to the citizen refused to apologize for her unprofessional and unethical behavior. To this day she has never offered an apology.

Which bring us to this year’s campaign for leadership of the City of Plainfield. The people of Plainfield have a clear choice.

First, a man who has, to my knowledge and experience in the city of Plainfield, having served this city officially for 30 years in law enforcement and never encountered him in any capacity, has never been an active participant in the affairs of the city.

Second and third, two women, former Councilwoman Brown and current Councilwoman Rivers, that have, during their tenure as elected officials, demonstrated a lack of character, professionalism and ethical principles by openly embarrassing and denigrating the character of a 30-year Plainfield Police Division law enforcement commander in a City Council Meeting, and [later] only under duress, after waiting almost three years, only one of them, Mayoral Candidate and former Councilwoman Brown, offering an apology for the maltreatment to one of its citizens. Mayoral Candidate Councilwoman Rivers to this day and writing stills remains the arrogant holdout.

And Fourth, a man who has during the course of his tenure as an elected official, former Union County Freeholder, former City Councilman for Plainfield, and our current Mayor, Adrian O. Mapp.

Nowhere during his tenure in all the offices that he held has there been any act of unprofessionalism, unethical behavior or lack of character. During his three years in the Office of Mayor, Adrian has brought the City of Plainfield forward, without any scandal or impropriety. He has establish a positive record of achievement for the citizens, with economic growth, reduction on crime, and restored and upgraded the financial credit rating of the city, all of this initially with limited City Council support.

Since 2016, Mayor Mapp has increased his support on the council and Plainfield has seen the positive results. More streets are being resurfaced, more city residents are being hired in law enforcement and fire safety, and more developers see Plainfield as the next growing economy and there is increased trust by the youth of Plainfield.

So Plainfield, let us not be fooled by the lack of accomplishments of the other candidates who, while in office, did nothing to advance Plainfield but now criticized progress. One of my favorite quotes  is a Chinese proverb that goes like this: "The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it!" Councilors Brown and Rivers, please stop interrupting progress.

The choice is easy: People of Plainfield, let’s re-elect Mayor Adrian Mapp in pushing Plainfield Forward.

OnePlainfield One Future!

Siddeeq W. El-Amin
Retired Captain
Former Citizen Candidate

Remember, there is a candidate forum at Shiloh Baptist Church this evening (May 25), to which all the candidates have been invited.

Shiloh Baptist Church is at West 4th Street and Lliberty. Parking available in the lots on West 5th Street.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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