Monday, April 18, 2016

Dunn Is Off Primary Ballot

Would-be Third Ward candidate Jeffery Dunn made no challenge by Monday to his petitions being found "null and void" last week, so ballot preparation for the June 7 primary can now proceed.

Dunn said in a hearing last week that he only changed his driver's license and voter registration to a Third Ward address on the morning of April 4, the same day petitions were due. In a hearing on April 11, documents showed he had voted in November 2014 and 2015 in the First Ward, using his office address at 320 Park Avenue. He said his reason for using that address was for privacy regarding details of his divorce while living in his parents' home at 1038 Central Avenue.

The city's special charter requires a council candidate to be a legal voter and to have lived one year in the ward or wards to be represented. Based on the documentation and testimony Dunn presented at the hearing, attorney Robert Renaud declared his petitions "null and void."

On Monday, City Clerk AJ Jalloh said he had not received word of any challenge to the April 11 decision and that Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi had asked him to proof information for the June 7 ballot.

"Absent a challenge, we're moving forward," Jalloh said.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, who is chairman of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee and was the objector to Dunn's petitions, said late Monday, "Jeff Dunn made a wise decision not to appeal the Clerk’s ruling. One may get away with admitting voter fraud to the Municipal Clerk but not to a Superior Court judge."

Two Democrats filed successfully for the Third Ward seat and two more for the Citywide at-large seat. In a Feb. 27 meeting of the Democratic City Committee, members chose Charles McRae to run on the party line in the Third Ward and Rebecca Williams to run for the Citywide at-large seat. McRae faces a challenge from Alma Blanco and Williams, currently representing the Second & Third Wards at-large, will run against incumbent Citywide at-large Councilwoman Tracey Brown.

No Republicans filed for either council seat. The winners of the Democratic primary contests will be on the November 8 ballot along with any independents who file on June 7. If Dunn continues to live in the Third Ward, his next chance to run for council will be in 2018, when the Second & Third Ward seat will be up for election.



  1. Jeff Dunn can file on June 7 to run as an independent against Brown or Williams, the winner of the citywide election. Question is will he be joined by John Campbell Jr. who is itching to win an election? Campbell was supposed to be Dunn's campaign manager but he couldn't "manage" to get his candidate on the ballot. It will be interesting.

  2. Bernice, unrelated to the Dunn issue there occurred last night a matter which is worthy of reporting. A Budget review meeting was held during which the Public Works, Recreation and Inspection Divisions reviewed their respective proposed budgets with the City Council and Citizen's Review committee. The function was coherent, concise and complete. All parties; Department Representatives, Council Members and Citizen's Committee Members came well prepared. Both questions and responses were concise and germane. These deaprtments have asked from no to small increases in their busgets. It appaears they are struggling to spend evrey nicklel prudently. The absence of 3 Council members probably enabled the process. There were no rambling perorations or baneful philosophizing to burden the well orchestrated proceedings. There was accord regarding the areas that require improvement, specifically; the abatement process with 400 properties awaiting disposition, and the need to expand and enforce inspections of degraded properties and a host of other Code violations. Peripherally the PMUA was cited it being noted that the Shared services ( the amount ostensibly charged for clean up of public spaces and removal of illegally dumped debris, charged by this organization total $4,700,000 annually. When asked if Public Works could perform this work Mr. Watson answered affirmatively. When asked for the cost to perform the work Mr. Watson responded that he had not made an estimate. Whether this subject will be pursued remains to be seen. Suggestion: How about a Citizen Review Committee to inspect the PMUA budget? Bill Kruse

    1. The quarterly Single-Family residential rate is $185. The comparable Shared System Service Fee for public areas is $80.30 for those who opt out of residential service. Strip that out of the $185 and you are left with $104.70, which itself is 20% higher than Grand Sanitation. Looked at another way, solid waste service to your home is 57% of the total (104.70/185) and your share of public service is 43% of your bill. That ratio is awfully hard to believe is justified by any rational analysis of manpower, equipment, depreciation, processing, tonnage, disposal, or any other pro-rated costs. Likely, the only rationale is that a high Shared Service fee subsidizes a 'lower' high rate for residential service and limits the massive opt-outs that would occur if the rates were more accurately apportioned.

      PMUA management offers a lot of gobbledygook as justification, but never any real numbers. Its CFO likes to tell the public it doesn't know what insiders know, but come the May agenda setting- joint meeting, PMUA will have the opportunity to be transparent, set the record straight, or come clean. The bookmakers are offering very long odds this will be anything other than a photo-op.

  3. Campbell has not been successful and I wonder why he keeps trying when the message from voters is clear. I wish him luck in the future and hope he can escape from outside influences shich seem to keep him back.

  4. Bill Kruse I must say you are correct there needs to be a committee to inspect the PMUA budget

    1. Conceivably a budget review might devolve into the following plan; Transfer the Sewer Department back to the City from whence it came. Transfer the responsibility for city property clean up and illegal debris removal to Public Works. PMUA retains operational control of Rock Avenue operations and household collection. DPW would employ some number of men curently in PMUA to perform hands on "Shared Service work. There would be no loss of employment at Rock Avenue or the Sewer Department. Honing the overstaffed organization down to efficient size could be orchestrated over say 5 years and accomplished through normal attrition: retirement, resignation, and warranted dismissals. An initial overview suggests a 2.5 to 3.0 Million Dollar cost reduction exclusive of the tax benefits which would inure to homeowners based on paying for these services through their property tax. The remaining Bond obligations would be funded thorugh a combination of the City assuming some portion and the PMUA the balance. I believe these Bonds are fully redeemed by 2,022.
      We the taxpayers are obligated to finance the repayment one way or another. The important thing is not to permit the PMUA to get a notion about another Bond offering. BK

  5. Take the hint