A controversial ordinance to convey city property to the Housing Authority will not be up for final passage Monday.
All six City Council members - Vera Greaves, William Reid, Rebecca Williams, Cory Storch, Gloria Taylor and President Bridget Rivers - declined to move it to the Sept. 8 agenda. Councilwoman Tracey Brown was absent.
The consensus followed some tricky turns. Councilman Cory Storch first asked to have Corporation Counsel Vernita Sias-Hill to speak about the ordinance, but Rivers said Mayor Adrian O. Mapp had already given a very comprehensive overview "and so did she," referring to Sias-Hill. She dismissed the request as "just wasting time."
Rivers said she was making a motion to table the ordinance and called for a second. But the council cannot vote at an agenda-fixing session, so no one seconded her motion. The consensus was then taken.
The outcome was surprising in view of Rivers' intense effort to push the ordinance along after it was submitted by Housing Authority Executive Director Randall Wood. She pooh-poohed Sias-Hill's concerns last month as just "a bunch of statements" and previously rejected Wood's attempt to withdraw the ordinance.
Among Mapp's objections, neither the Housing Authority nor its development arm, Plainfield Community Development Corporation, had passed complementary resolutions to the city ordinance. In addition, the city tax collector discovered that the ordinance included a privately-owned parcel across the street from the city-owned lots to be conveyed to the Housing Authority.
But as the saying goes, it ain't over till it's over, so stay tuned for further developments.