Tuesday, December 13, 2011
McWilliams Completes Council Presidency
The daughter of the late Mayor Albert T. McWilliams won a seat on the governing body in the November 2008 election, after defeating the Democratic Party's choice, Harold Gibson, in the June 2008 primary. She took office on Jan. 1, 2009 and served as president in 2010 and 2011.
Among accomplishments during her tenure as president, McWilliams named passage of the F.A.I.R. legislation and creation of the city's first Technology Division. She also had to deal with several highly volatile issues, such as a controversy over youth baseball leagues that brought large crowds to council meetings, and an investigation into an Aug. 1, 2010 Town Meeting that was broadcast over radio station WBLS. The live radio show cost $20,000 and after a year of fruitless inquiries into the use of city funds for the show, McWilliams pushed for an investigation as allowed by the city's special charter.
A report on the investigation will be final soon.
In council comments Monday, Councilman Cory Storch praised McWilliams' ability to defuse hostility and anger that erupted publicly in the baseball controversy.
"Your leadership is impeccable," Councilwoman Bridget Rivers added. "I appreciate you."
Councilman Adrian Mapp said as a new person on the governing body, McWilliams "came up to speed rapidly" and praised her leadership.
But McWilliams said, "This has really been function of us all working together," and said she hoped the "positive attitude" will continue.
In public comment, Plainfield Public Library Director Joe Da Rold and blogger Dr. Harold Yood voiced more compliments on her leadership, with Yood saying her "two years of professionalism" will be hard for anyone to follow.
The council will choose a new president for 2012 at the Jan. 3 annual reorganization.
McWilliams and Mapp campaigned together in 2008 and will have to declare by April 2 whether they will seek re-election. McWilliams holds the citywide at-large council seat, representing all four wards, and Mapp holds the Third Ward seat.