"I am the law!" – (Frank Hague) speech on city government to the Emory Methodist Episcopal Church in Jersey City, November 10, 1937
Frank Hague was Mayor of Jersey City from May 15, 1917 until his retirement on June 17, 1947. His name is synonymous with that early 20th century urban American blend of political favoritism and social welfare known as bossism.
We do not have a Hague here but Plainfield does have the Chairperson of the local Democrat Party who has autocratic powers. Even though there is a committee meeting to select candidates, no one’s name is on the Party line at the primary election without his stamp of approval. No one is appointed to a Board without the party head’s initiative or OK
HRH has rewarded the Mayor’s puppet by giving him the CEO’s office in the PMUA. Since its establishment in 1966 the PMUA.s Board of Commissioners membership has been the reward for good party players. Always a way to pad their multiple pensions
There have been a few who have been Commissioners who did not hold elected office but their commitment deserved rewarding.
Now, out of the blue Plainfield’s Corporation Counselor who has been the Mayor’s voice at the Council meetings, suddenly has developed the capability to manage and operate a multi-million business in a field which he has had no prior experience.
There are 7 Commissioners; two seats are vacant. Also The Rev. Tracey Brown who is the Mayor’s minister was absent when the Commissioners by a 3:2 vote selected Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson to be the new Executive Director Sanders was present and had a vote because he filled one of the vacant ward seats.
One of the three who voted was Sanders; an alternate who can only vote in the place of an absent Commissioner.
Rev Tracy Brown has the Party line for the At-Large Council position now held by Annie McWilliams who is not running. Since apparently only a simple majority of those present is all that was needed for selecting Williamson, it would behoove Brown not to have on her record a vote with the unholy three.
Dunn, Sanders, and Toliver; the three that awarded the previous two top executives the bank after they had resigned voted to replace the interim executive director who to the outsider seemed to be doing a capable job.Again Mitchell and Brokaw were in opposition. Brown for the second time was not present to vote. The Green men were able to reward a faithful party worker and at the same time rid the PMUA of someone who might be a positive administrator.
Plainfield will always be a distressed town if we the voters or state powers that be continue to watch and ignore unrestricted patronage appointments.