Friday, May 30, 2014

Council Passes "Disapproval" of Mapp's Video

A special meeting Thursday to pass a single resolution disapproving Mayor Adrian O. Mapp's May 19 video stretched to two hours as speakers endorsed it, condemned it or called for the war among Democrats to end.

In the video aired on cable television and YouTube, Mapp blames Assemblyman Jerry Green for interfering with his new administration and thwarting his plans for Plainfield's future. At a special meeting Tuesday, the City Council passed a budget that eliminated Mapp's chief of staff and his communications specialist. Council President Bridget Rivers then asked Corporation Counsel David Minchello what could be done regarding the video. Minchello said it was not illegal, but the council could express disapproval of it by resolution, leading to the second special meeting Thursday.

Green is chairman of the Regular Democratic Organization of Union County and also Plainfield's Democratic party chairman, while Mapp headed the New Democrats club for several years until taking office as mayor on Jan. 1. He is endorsing a slate of New Democrats headed by incumbent Councilwoman Rebecca Williams, who succeeded him as president of the club. Green as chairman selected a slate of Regular Democrats. The factions will square off in the June 3 primary, with control of the City Council at stake.

Among the fourteen people who spoke before the vote Thursday, Rasheed Abdul-Haqq said of the mayor, "It seems to me you should want to have a mayor's corner to speak to the people."

But Charles Eke, who is running against Williams in the primary, said he did not find anything in the video "that would bring people to Plainfield." He said Mapp should have spoken as a private citizen.

Alan Goldstein and others equated the video with President Barack Obama's talks where he calls out Republicans for blocking his initiatives.

"It's good to have a mayor who speaks his mind, a mayor who tells the truth," Goldstein said.

Roland Muhammad called Mapp "a ringside fighter" and said he was tired of people talking against Green, while Jeff Dunn said Mapp was wrong to air "dirty laundry in public."

Former Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, who lost her bid for a third term to Mapp in 2013, passed out information from the state Ethics Commission, where the resolution of disapproval will be sent by the council.

Sharon Smith said she would sell her home if she could and get out of Plainfield because of the bickering over the past nine years.

"We as a community have got to have more respect for each other," Carrell Martin said.

Dottie Gutenkauf, who worked with Green for 30 years before backing Mapp's team now, said, "This excuse for a meeting is the silliest thing I have seen from this council."

Council President Bridget Rivers said the council was paying for Thursday's meeting to be taped because Mapp had put the media staff on "flex-time" instead of paying overtime. She proposed an ordinance requiring all meetings to be taped.

The vote on the resolution voicing disapproval was 4-1, with Vera Greaves, Gloria Taylor, William Reid and Rivers voting "yes" and Williams voting "no." Cory Storch and Tracey Brown were absent.

Eight people spoke after the vote. Eke alleged the video had been edited and said he put in an Open Public Records Act request for an unedited copy.

Thomas Crownover gave thanks to police and fire personnel who recently saved his life when a stucco ceiling collapsed on him. He called on people to appreciate Plainfield's public safety staff "and don't dwell entirely on the political things."

At least until the primary is over, Crownover's advice may be disregarded. Plainfield's politics are drawing statewide attention and punditizing, with even Senate President Stephen Sweeney getting into the act on Green's behalf and Politicker NJ describing the situation as a "bloodbath."



  1. Standard Green machine (or should I say Ass. Green Machine) nonsense. His minions were good enough to stick to the general script even if they weren't skilled enough to avoid driving themselves into verbal ditches. Council President Rivers was good enough to state that while President Obama gives a weekly radio address and may make negative comments about the GOP he is using the public airwaves and not local DC airwaves. I am at a loss as to how that makes a bit of difference or as to how Ms. Rivers feels that PCTV is not a public channel. In addition, she drove the car further into the ditch by stating that she would have been fine if Mayor Mapp had used the speech to set out his agenda for the city on why his budget was important. Apparently Ms. Rivers failed to watch the video as that was the overall point of his recorded speech. Mr. Toliver and his wife Diane were apparently unaware of the videos content either as they were nodding their heads in agreement to Ms. Rivers comments. Gloria Taylor was good enough to just say that she "thinks" his speech was unethical without stating how EXACTLY it was unethical (i.e what law was broken or even bent). Apparently she thinks that by stating that something is unethical it is therefore unethical. She couldn't point out clearly enough how unqualified she is to hold her position on the council.
    Standard circus for this group - they continue to carry the water of Ass. Green without even understanding what they are doing or saying. Minus the fact that it wasted a lot of time it was comedy that hollywood couldn't write.
    Bottom line from this observer, Ass. Green is scared and may be seeing retirement in the near future - God Willing.

    1. Ms. Taylor seems to look down her nose at many and talks down to people as if they lack the capacity to make up their own minds. I think we need a more forward thinking and open person in her position.

  2. Mayor Mapp should not be playing games with the taping of City Council meetings, and the Council should not expect that its proceedings alone monopolize the flow of official information utilizing PCTV. Council President Rivers, who has recently developed a proclivity to threaten police removal of public attendees who make barely audible side comments, should realize that many of these comments come about when she attempts to get in the final 'authoritative' word, but opts to speak in a distorting and misleading way.

    Speaking of distorting and misleading, Council members who decry public criticism of Asm. Jerry Green speak as if he operates in a totally different universe from the Council. But the other Jerry Green, the PDCC and Union County Democratic chairman, is the one who hoodwinks Senate President Sweeney to make false assertions, and tries to put his fingers into every pie. Mapp was on solid ground calling out that version of the man. Though Green's two pitiful mailings are of recent vintage, he has been working ceaselessly to undermine the Mapp administration all year.

    Call it dirty laundry, it is nevertheless still dirty, even filthy. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis noted a century ago, "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman."

  3. What a waste of time. Didn't the council cut the budget? Why would they expect the have coverage for a non-scheduled meeting? We cannot afford the extra .70 a month - remember?

  4. I believe we are in a country of guaranteed free speech. Mapp has a right to free speech, to give his opinion and thoughts.

    YouTube is open source -- anyone an use it.

    The public TV station is open for public use.

    If any on the council or Asm. Green have issues with what Mapp expressed, they have the same right and access to post a rebuttal.

    Everyone knows for years Asm. Green has directed and influence who gets public jobs in this town, as well as appointments. I can well believe Asm. Green went to Mapp wanting to dictate who got what job. Green has done this for the PMUA, for director positions in the city in the past.

    If Asm. Green wants to refute Mapp's statements, he has the right and the same availability of technology to do so. The fact he doesn't -- speaks volumes.

    Also the YouTube clip of Asm. Green "communicating" sheds light on how Asm. Green handles conflict. Very enlightening.

  5. Reality Show here we come!

  6. An open letter to Senator Sweeney,

    Dear Senator Sweeney,

    This letter is in reference to a flier that I received in my mailbox on Wednesday 5/28/14 with the caption “Before you go to the polls on June 3rd take a moment to read a special letter from NJ highest ranking Democratic Official” which also included a picture of you.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been to involved in politics on a state level and never really heard or knew anything about you, so it’s truly unfortunate that my first introduction of you was by way of this shameful flyer. Senator Sweeney, I want you to know that I am absolutely offended by this flyer, as I believe most Plainfielders was and we do expect an apology. I admit, I have been like the majority of the voting public; with the exception of local candidates, I am guilty of always voting down the party line without doing my due-diligence. Thanks to you for showing me who you are, opening my eyes with this flyer and teaching me a valuable lesson.

    On the other hand, I do involve myself and pay very close attention to my local elected officials and candidates. I support candidates and elected officials who best represent us as stakeholders and encourage others to do the same.

    Your endorsed Jerry Green flyers goes on to say how you feel the “New Democrats are attacking our Democratic candidates and the efforts of the Democratic Party in Plainfield”. It also goes as far as to insinuate and compare the New Democrats to Tea Party members. While looking at your picture on the flyer my first thought was, if I was to judge you based on this flyer, you yourself, most resemble the people associated with the Tea-Party. Of course this is just an unsupported observation on my part, just as I recognize the flyer to be unsupported on your part.

    You are also quoted as saying Assemblyman Jerry Green is “your good friend”, this alone would give me pause to every consider you as a candidate of my choice in any election. Although Jerry Green has continued to get reelected, he has proved to be a disappointment to the city of Plainfield and has shown total disrespect for the city and its people.

    My questions to you are these.

    1. If you cared about Plainfield, where were you when the state gave permission to JFK to close Muhlenberg hospital? How do you feel about Jerry Green and his plan to demolish the hospitable and allow JFK’s developers to build a 660 unit apartment complex in a low density area? I have been a very vocal advocate for maintaining the quality of life in the neighborhood and will continue to advocate against building an apartment complex of any size on that site.

    2. How do you feel about the bill introduced by Jerry Green into the Assembly--A3043--which allows corporation business tax or gross income tax credits to developers for certain capital investments for repurposing qualified health care facilities?

    3. You say the New Democrats are attacking the efforts of the Democratic Party in Plainfield; my questions to you is, how did you feel when the Plainfield Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Green calls a meeting of all committee members and once assembled, dictate to them who he decided to give the line to in the upcoming Plainfield city council race? Please note, committee members were not allow to vote or voice their concerns. In my opinion, this qualifies as a direct attack on the Party and the democrats who elected him.

    Thank you for your time and I await your reply to my questions,


    Robin Bright

    1. Thank you, Robin. I was also offended and disgusted by that flier. I worked 14 hours yesterday, got home at 10:30 p.m. and started my computer so I could write Sweeney and voice my indignity at having such a piece of garbage thrust into my mail box. I also let him know that I would never vote for him, as I did Booker in another email. I hope others write Sweeney. Just Google him and his state email will come up.

      Bob Bolmer

  7. I also wrote to Sweeney. This guy wants to be Governor, and he gets into local politics? Does he even know where Plainfield is?

    Hey Steve, do you have time to do something about our property taxes which are the highest in the nation?

    Easy decision - Fulop for Governor!!!!


  8. Where do I begin, while everyone else is drinking the kook-aid of the new dems, the ethical voices of Plainfield, have you checked out what has been done in the first 100 days. Oh yeah skipped over with a written report for a smoke screen. It was spent buying new furniture painting getting rid of decent furniture, making large office space for the top brass. Craming regular employees into tight spaces, creating havoc for the building dept to function properly so Cory Storch could speak about the difficulty the office has in locating things, smells like sabatage to me. Now it does take longer to get my permits.

  9. Robin, Most plainfielders are not disgusted by the letter from our distinguished Senator.Just your circle. Chairman Green already said he is not in flavor of 600 apartments, he said it publicly.Why are you still on that? All the council is also against it. Find something else to complain about.Stop trying to speak for all of plainfield, just speak for your circle of about 50 or less.

    1. Anonymous 5/31/14@ 1:21PM, unless you are man or woman enough to sign your real full name, then I really don't care to hear what you have to say. However, as far as Green saying no apartments on the Muhlenberg site, why would I believe him? Did'nt he already prove he's a lier by claiming he never said "I run this motherfing town"? Yea I think he did!

      Robin Bright

    2. I am with Robin. And I sincerely doubt she has only 50 people with her. Perhaps you (1:21pm) are looking at your circle.