The following is a "guest editorial" by
The Prey and the Predator
McManimon, Scotland, & Baumann has been running PMUA’s legal affairs from the beginning. You could say it IS the PMUA, at least its corporate bureaucratic face. The law firm’s tenure with the Authority predates every employee or commission member currently on the rolls of Plainfield’s 20-year old garbage and sewage public utility.
Twenty years of fees for everything from running the Board meetings, defending lawsuits, writing resolutions and contracts, skirmishing with former employees, bankrolling political campaigns, and conjuring opinions, have added a pretty sum to the bottom line of the firm and its many partners and associates.
Twenty years of tilting with the public and fighting accountability, ignoring ordinances and contracts, resulting in huge costs to the public, millions, in patronage jobs, illegal compensation, excessive settlements, and you name it. Millions! Many millions.
All coached and conducted by one McManimon partner or another.
Although MS&B should be issued a pink slip and sent packing from the city it has sunk its teeth into, the Mapp Administration now wants to give it another bite of the pie and hire the firm as Redevelopment Counsel. Après moi le Déluge! Put to a vote next week, the City Council has an opportunity to say enough is enough by sending McManimon where it belongs, beyond our borders and out of our business. Our governing body should not pass on that opportunity.
I have to ask why our municipal government has such contempt for the city’s residents that it disregards past abuses by going out of its way to reward the offenders? This is not the first slap in the face, nor is this the first administration to do the slapping. But really, first Eric Watson is resurrected as a director of Public Works and Urban Development, and now McManimon & Scotland? Is this the demolition/redevelopment combo that will lead to ‘One Plainfield, One Future’? I think not.
Public officials and their hires don’t have to be perfect, but they do have to place the public interest ahead of their personal ambition and wallet size. We should take note when the commonweal is forced to the back of the bus while profiteers and unscrupulous professional service vendors ride shotgun, all with an official blessing.
If historic preservation is a key to the future of Plainfield, let’s at least preserve the good and move on from the abusive and destructive influences that prey on us with regularity. Spinning the past and excusing the present is no way forward.
( Guest Editorials or Bogs are the opinion of the author and may not reflect the opinions of the 'Blogger")