Sunday, April 12, 2015


Once again the Mayor’s nominations for appointments are a puzzle which may be the result of the power struggle between him and Party Chairman Jerry Green. This has gone to the June Ballot where JG had challenged successfully (?) the two freeholder candidates on the “Mapp” slate which resulted in only candidates for the City Democrat Committee. With only the local slate the Mapp New Democrats could not participate in the drawing for the first few columns. Mapp’s group has challenged the disqualifications and a hearing will be held Wednesday.

To get back to the Council Agenda and the appointment resolutions.

The first one is Resolution R130-15 appointing Lana Carden to serve as an alternate#2 member of the Zoning Board. There is no resume in the support documents, however a google reveals that she has worked for years for the PMUA as what appears to be HR director.

Shades of Watson, is his honor an avowed opponent of the PMUA as Councilor now courting PMUA personnel for political reasons?

The second Resolution R131-15 is to appoint Ronald Johnson Jr. to the Planning Board. His resume is posted and he seems to be a brilliant young man; but he is employed in our Planning Division as Assistant Zoning Officer! Doesn’t this constitute an ethical conflict as he would now be in a position to act upon matters that he could have been involved in his work or that his fellow workers are involved?

After so many Council rejections of the Mayor’s appointments these two are on the consent agenda. How times change.

Too bad I am at this time physically unable to attend the meeting.


  1. Ron Johnson is nominated in the Class II category, "Municipal Officer" or "Municipal Official." The last two previous nominees in that category were actual officers in the Police Division, perhaps due to a literal interpretation of "Municipal Officer" by the former administration. Years ago, the in-house city engineer served as the Class II representative. I believe the idea is to have a city representative with expertise in the field to serve on the board. In my opinion, Ron Johnson qualifies.

    1. It's always great to receive clarification and/or correctins. Thanks, B ernice.

  2. It's a statutory provision, Doc. Every Planning Board must have a Class II member, who has to be a City employee. We always appoint them yearly, though sometimes they continue for longer. I see nothing controversial about having Ron Johnson in this role. In fact it will be helpful to have him interface with the Board that originates a lot of the things that become his tasks.