Tuesday, January 31, 2012

FYI-PMUA/COUNCIL METING

As is my custom the first newspaper(?) I read at breakfast is the Courier since it contains local items and obituaries. I scanned the legal notices and to my surprise was a small one from the PMUA announcing a meeting of the Commissioners with the City Council at the Agenda Setting Session this coming Monday.

This is long forthcoming having been resisted by the previous PMUA Administration. I have never in the past seen a legal notice announcing a joint meeting. It should be an interesting evening and perhaps a long one with other items under questioning that should be up for discussion.

I have just read Bernice's blog and she has r reproduced the notice.

LETTER AFTERMATH

"Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office seeking." -- Rutherford B. Hayes, 1878 19th President of US.

Today 1/12th of 2012 passes. Unlike last year it has been a mild winter to date but two more months including February which is traditionally the worst is still to come, Of course Ground Hog day will soon be upon us and we will have the benefit of two independent prophets to give us a choice of prognostications. Thus one will be right and its forecast will be remembered as proof of the importance of that day.

Today is also the Primary Elections in Florida. Unlike the others this is a "winner take all affair"; no proportional allocation of the delegates. The Republican campaign has turned dirty; fueled by Gingrich. However Romney counter attack both at the Debates and in the media have severely hurt Saint Newt.

At this point Santorum is not and I do not believe will ever recover to be a true factor in the race. Ron Paul will not be accepted by the majority of the party leadership and I believe that he is only desiring to have a major input in the Party Platform at the convention.

Campaigning for local office has already begun and it appears that it will mirror the Republicans in nastiness.

Although we will have to wait to see if Roland Muhammad will file to run against either McWilliams or Mapp it appears that as of this date "harmony" reigns in the local Democrat family.Indeed recent events suggest that there may be some meeting of the minds. However, if Muhammad follows through in his threat what will be Robinson-Briggs' support? We will have four interesting political months in Plainfield.

The " New Democrats" and "Slam" supported by "kingmaker"(Bernice's terminology) John Campbell have tried in the past to usurp Jerry Green's power and almost succeeded in the early 2000s. We are aware that JG as assemblyman has no input int o the City's governance nor the PMUA nor the candidates for the BOE therefore he can have no ulterior motive in desiring that the BOE elections be held with the general election except to have a greater public participation. In fact he has repeatedly said that his local interest is solely as Party Chairman to support the candidates running for office.

In that Party role he has found the non-politically elected BOE members to be a source for future Councilors. In other words it has been the minor league for many present politicians.

Note; as I have opened a can of worms by posting Burney's letter I will give my post space to any one or one consortium of New Democrats to post a rebuttal. Since all have their own blogs that may not be necessary.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rashid Burney's Communication

"Getting a lecture on morality from a politician is like getting a lecture on chastity from a whore." -- Perry de Havilland

Former Councilman Rashid Burney has sent the following email to me and I suppose numerous others. Since Plainfield politics often leaves one bewildered, and since politicians are politicians although not all are "Newts" I have acceded to his request (see comments to yesterday's blog) and am posting the email in toto.


Received 1/28/2012
"You cannot make this up folks.

I keep trying to tune out Plainfield's status-quo politics, and things keep coming up that honestly, make me sad for Plainfield and I cannot keep quiet. With every new face, change is what you are promised. Blame is the excuse you are presented at the end of every 4-years.

"It's Jerry's fault". "Jerry is keeping us from moving forward". "Jerry will not allow progress". Haven't you been told that over and over again? Yet four years later, more promises to fight Jerry Green and more excuses.

By now you all know that after years of telling you that Jerry Green is bad for Plainfield and Jerry Green is the root of all problems in Plainfield, the New Democrats went out and campaigned for Jerry Green this past election cycle. Put out signs for Jerry Green. Made phone calls for Jerry Green. Helped him get elected.

The New Democrats excuse when such a reversal is exposed: "We always do this". Really? You always campaign for Jerry Green? Why didn't you tell us this in June every year when you tell us he is evil? And bad for Plainfield?

Everyone in the New Democrat machine was involved in this support for Green. Even the spin master, Dan Damon himself encouraged you to vote for Jerry Green on his blog, and showed up at Green's campaign HQ to support Green as did Storch, Mapp, Williams, Bicket and many other prominent New Democrats.

But it does not end there. When New Democrats Mapp and McWilliams campaigned for Council is 2008 they promised and pledged that they would not take ANY money from Plainfield vendors. A good idea it was! Some might even have believed it.

They told you pay-to-play was bad and only mean, bad politicians do this. Storch in his campaign told you the monies taken by the New Democrats was "over 10 years ago...." and thus implying they have changed their ways. They told you it that their politics were "new" and not "old".

Behind the scenes the opposite has been true. You see, the New Democrats have a strong history of frisking Plainfield vendors for money everytime they are in power. Happened in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Now that New Democrats once again are controlling the council, what happens?

Well, don't wait for Dan Damon to tell you. Because he will not. Nor will any other New Democrat. I doubt if you will see this on any of the blogs either.

Attached please find New Democrat leader, Adrian Mapp's first election report filed with the State of NJ for his 2012 Council run. What this shows is Mr Mapp is taking monies from Plainfield vendors. He has already accumulated almost $5,000 in campaign contribution including $500 from Remminton Vernick. Remmington Vernick is Plainfield's engineering firm who has received over $3 million dollars from the city in engineering work in the last few years.

The rest of the rest were probably also contributions from Plainfield vendors, but they were all $300 or less, and thus not required to be reported individually.

How do you accumulate so much money overnight? Simple! Announce that you will ascend to the role of Council President for 2012 (hint...hint.... Council controls budget and contracts..hint...hint) and that you are hosting a wine and cheese reception at your home. Make the card read "Monetary contributions of $300 will be accepted".

As long as you have been a loyal "yes" vote, pay-to-play money will flow to you.
But why do the fund raiser in 2011 when election is actually in June of 2012? Here is why: Do your fundraiser in 2011, so that you can start a fresh clock in 2012 and hit the vendors up again in 2012. Thus you bypass annual contribution limits.

Do it quietly. Damon will not report it in his blog. So how will you know?
Just for extra measure, introduce an ordinance that appears to ban pay-to-play at the very time you are frisking the vendors. And tell everyone how this is honest and ethical leadership.

I am not making this up folks. This is the playbook. So while my comments may be sarcastic, the facts speak for themselves.

The New Democrat's leader, Mapp and the New Democrat organization owes you an explanation. From campaigning for Green, rubber stamping votes for board and commissions that are not good for Plainfield, to secret fund raisers to frisk money from Plainfield vendors. These are all "old" politics. Nothing "New" about this.

The problem here is political ambitions have simply exceeded the needs of the city. Politicians have convinced themselves and their close circle that doing the very things they vowed not do do is necessary to step the very things they promised to stop. It's a warped and twisted logic. Now more time is spent on spin control, and keeping everyone toting the same line, rather then doing what is good for the city. Ordinances are put up that are really meaningless.

You are left hold the bill for all if this. Many of you have invested time, effort, and even money. You are also left with the emotional bill for this also. You have invested your own name, reputation and walked door to door for causes that are now essentially road-kill.

How you choose to act on this is obviously up to you. I am not running for anything and I don't want to run for office again. I am not supporting or opposing any faction or side in Plainfield and I am really busy with my business and family.

But because the information you are getting on the blogs is so one-sided, you are not getting all the truth. Since no one else is presenting you all the facts, I just feel I have to point these out and you can decide what to do with this.

thank you!

Rashid Burney"

On Jan.27 I received an email with the following attachment which confirms Burney's charge.
Mapp20120115.pdfMapp20120115.pdf
97K View Download






Saturday, January 28, 2012

JUST STUFF

Sunday without football and more than a month before Baseball camps begin.It will be also two months before the BOE elections unless the Council i its fiduciary role passes a Resolution mandating the change to the November date.

If the City chooses to hold the BOE?budget election coinciding with the General election; we will be committed for four years. That will give us time to judge is it was a wise move.

While we wait perhaps someone will take the time to give us an update on the "Shotspoter" program. Have we signed a contract? If so what are the terms/provisions? Is the Administration and Council aware that Trenton backed off expanding its one square mile trial application. The reason; a man was serendipitously found shot dead it the middle of the covered area; an obvious failure.

Other questions that need an answer or explanation at the next weeks Council meeting include;(1) when did the Council approve the appointment of a Special Corporation Council to represent the Mayor, and (2) how much compensation including miscellaneous expenses did he received,(3) where in the Charter is legal representation authorized for the Mayor if it is an in house investigation?

I am sure by next Monday I will remember more open items.

Friday, January 27, 2012

BOE ELECTIONS CHANGE

Thanks to Maria Pellum I have learned that the LAW states that either the Council or the BOE can pass a Resolution moving the School Board elections to coincide with the November general election. The link is Here . click on it to read the entire law.

The election is to occupy a special section of the ballot and is still to be non-political(?).

Since there is an early February deadline for the application the Council must take appropriate action at Feb. 6, meeting.

FRIDAY; JAN. 27, 2012

I took a "sort of " sabbatical Thursday to reflect that a year ago that date we had one of the biggest snow storms in my memory, and that is a long time. Well, one excuse is as good as any other when there is little positive material for a blog.

I am pleased to read that Jerry Green the Chairman of the Plainfield Democrat Committee as come out in favor (Dec. 26) of moving the School Board elections to the November General Elections.

One of Plainfield's glaring tragedies is its dysfunctional BOE/PSS. Perhaps the blame can be leveled at the public's lack of interest at the annual School Board/Budget spring election. Yes combining that election with the significant general election should ensure a more representative turnout. That will be most true this year; a Presidential election year.

Maria has been doing the community a great service by aggressively pointing out backed with facts the failures of this and past boards to compile with mandated State DOE requirements. She has reported on hidden expenditures that have digested large sums of funds that would be better used for our children's education.

SLAM has proven to be o better than its predecessors. The promise of transparency and a positive direction have proven to be no more than words.

Assemblyman Green calls for the Council to take action in moving the BOE election date , but doesn't the BOE have to recommend changing the election date?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

STATE OF MY UNION

Two great speeches; the President' s State of the Union address and the Republican response. Agreed that they are dissonant but both make critical points that should be accepted by both parties.

The President's talk covered too many facets to analyses quickly, and I am not a paid pundit who must make a pronouncement within 24 hours. They also have the advantage of receiving a copy to study beforehand.

I do hope to write something in the days to come but don 't sit on the end of your seats. However, at this moment several things struck me as noteworthy; At times the President sounded like a "liberal Republican". He even in the discussion of reforms in Education sounding like Christie when he said we should reward the good teachers and get rid of the bad ones. That may be a crux to the failure to keep children inter ested in leaarning and school.

His remark that it should be mandatory for children to stay in school until age 18 doesn't solve the problem of educating those unwilling to learn. Our BOE's must provide the wherewithal that will create an atmosphere in which even the poorest studebt wil wish to learn. That also includes the teachers that provide a reason for schooling.

On another subject; Tax Reform he is right thatthe present system has mutated through loopholes into one that puts an abnormal hard burden on the middle class as well as the senior citizen living on retirement plans.

A simple graduated scale or even equal scale over all income levels including the billionaires is a must. One must note the income from government bonds should remain tax free in the political unit sponsoring them. Those bonds are essential for a government to work, and the incentive to invest in them with their low rater of return is the tax benefit. Likewise the existence of many of our nonprofit and cultural organizations is dependent on the ability to deduct contributions from gross income. That must be preserved. Federal aid to various business should be on an individual basis and free from political manipulations. Of course when that day comes and the two parties agree on anything related to taxes especially in an election year it will probably be the day the Mayan Calendar ends.

Finally for today; Governor Daniel's observation that no country or person can avoid financial disaster if they spend more than they earn. Bankruptcy does not work for nations and it impoverishes its citizens.

Monday, January 23, 2012

CELL PHONE INTERNET PROBLEM?

If you have trouble with your Internet be advised that it is not the residue of the Republican Debate but may be due to a solar flare. (Click this link.)

After solar flare, massive storm speeds Earthward

POLITICAL MONDAY

Alan, thank you for recalling that blog about Gingrich click here to read. When I reread it I became amazed by how perceptive the author ( I) was about Gingrich and his chances. My comments about the rest of the Republican Candidates still seems valid.

Columnist Maureen Dowd in Sunday's Times discusses the weaknesses and failures of the Obama Presidency to date. For an avowed Democrat she is frank about why he will be extremely vulnerable this election.

The reactionary movement that embraced Gingrich in South Carolina perhaps best reflects her analysis.

In the same issue notable Columnist Thomas Friedman writes about the issues that will determine who will be our President in 2013. He also reports why 2/3 Americans polled would vote for a Third Party (not Paul I hope) Candidate who would promise to act on all their concerns.

Monday was a very foggy day; locally weather wise and nationally politically. The best advice is to enjoy the melt and prepare for winter later this week. Some clearing although I doubt it ; may result from the Florida primary a week from Tuesday which may determine the future of the Republican Party and perhaps a Draft Christie movement.

That noted tonight (Monday) the four debated in Tampa Florida. My impressions:
  1. Romney was on the offensive against Gingrich blasting his record in DC. He accused him of being a Lobbyist for Freddie Mac &Fanny May receiving over a million dollars in salary as a "Historian". Gingrich of course denied influence peddling claiming he received on $30,000.00 total for his consulting services; the rest of funds went to his company for expenses. Romney will provide Tuesday 2 years tax return stating he paid everything due to the government. The fact that it was only about 15% of his income is the smoking gun.
  2. Gingrich continues to be the ultimate debater. he can shift subject smoothly without truly answering the question. His aggressive stance on Foreign Policy. and National Economics will attract many voters. His stand on Social Security and health care will appeal to Florida's massive number of retired senior citizens . He pitched to the many "Cubans" in Florida by stating that he would aggressively try to terminate the Castro regime. He would forcefully react against Iran. He makes it sound good but is there substance present?
  3. Ron Paul presents a most appealing national program especial relating to economics. Once again and he admit ed it, he has no concept of foreign policy except to lift the embargo against Cuba and Iran as being war provocative.
  4. Santorum was largely ignored by the moderator but he repeated his domestic financial "program and his opposition to Federal Health Care. Since I am prejudiced against him in part because he did use his position in the Senate t o grant "favors" which have been reported (without my being able to confirm) to have benefited him when he lost a reelection bid.

All in all of the two leaders ; Gingrich scares me because I consider him to be dishonest and Romney likewise does not appeal because his positions sway with the wind and are dependent on the direction it is blowing at that moment.



JUST STUFF

A weird weekend to say the least. My snow plower is happy since he was beginning to worry that he would not make any money this year. Forgotten is the fact that most years it is February and often March for the big snows. Also there are most years a storm about Easter time.

One year in the 60s I believe Helen and I had been in New York on Palm Sunday to play in a major Duplicate Bridge tournament. When we left to drive home it had been snowing for several hours in what turned out to be a major storm. As we drove back on 22 there were cars that were stuck all over the place. However through the grace of *** we manage to reach our house on Kenyon Ave safely. Our luck ran out in the driveway where there was a bend to the left at the back of the house; there the car was unable to go any further.

There was also one winter;I think in the 70s when it started to snow in late October and the ground remained snow covered until late March. That was the year we went to a meeting in Miami at the Fontainblau and the conference hall was so cold that they brought in portable heaters and the speakers gave their presentation wearing their overcoats. True story. Oh yes it did snow in Miami while we were there.

We had two dogs at that time. One was a Wired Hair Fox Terrier, a fun dog. The other, Bambi, was a Minature Pincher who though she had to consume all the food she could steal.

For our trip our daughter Paula and Ron who lived in a house in South Plainfield agreed to care for the dogs while we were away. Their house had a back stoop with steps down to the ground. The snow was up to the level of the stoop.

One day Bambi in her hurry to go outside fell off the stoop into the snow and disappeared, She had to be dug out.

How can there be any comment about the South Carolina Republican primary results? There can be no logical explanation how a State that proclaims itself to be a bastion for “true American family values” etc. could so overwhelming support Gingrich.

How about them Giants???