Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Rivers, Toliver Question Safety of City Hall Library

Two councilwomen expressed fears Monday about a plan to return agenda-fixing sessions to City Hall Library in 2017, citing a chaotic scene that took place there in September 2015.

"People could get trampled," Councilwoman Bridget Rivers said as she recalled the situation. Rivers said the room has only one door, with another to the mayor's office usually locked during meetings. Rivers insisted all council meetings should take place in Municipal Court, which is connected to police headquarters.

She asked Police Director Carl Riley whether City Hall Library is safe. Riley said two officers will be on duty and will have a metal-detecting wand. (Municipal Court has a metal detector that people must walk through.)

Councilwoman Diane Toliver said Monday, "It happened to me - I was assaulted by a citizen."

Toliver said she was concerned not only for herself, but for everyone.

"I heard people say I acted un-normal when the incident happened," she said, then alluded to possible behavior of "abnormal people" before adding, "I don't think I acted un-normal."

Riley reiterated the safety measures planned for the site, but Rivers repeated her concerns about having only one exit besides a capacity of only 50 people.

Councilman Cory Storch said over his two decades of service on the school board and council, he recalled "only one major verbal altercation" at Maxson Middle School in addition to the council incident. He said meetings must be accessible to the public and noted the large parking lot behind City Hall Library. He also said the agenda-fixing meeting is a "work session" for the council. Lined up with council members on the dais in the courtroom, he said, "I can't see Joylette (Mills-Ransome) and I can see part of Charles McRae's nose."

In City Hall Library, council members sit at a large table where they can look across at each other, he noted.

Rivers repeated her concerns, saying "Sometimes we can continue to do the same thing and get the same results" and that the council has to "cater to all the residents of Plainfield, not just some."

"People will be trampled all over," Rivers said.

The meeting schedule resolution then passed, 5-2, with Storch, Mills-Ransome, McRae, Barry Goode and Council President Rebecca Williams voting "yes" and Toliver and Rivers voting "no."

The next council meeting is a combined agenda-fixing and regular meeting on Jan. 17 in Municipal Court. The first agenda-fixing session scheduled for 2017 in City Hall Library is 7:30 p.m. on February 6.

--Bernice

19 comments:

  1. She was not the victim. The guy with the cane who said something to her that set her off was almost the victim.

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  2. First, I have been going to meetings for more than 10 years (before Bridget even entered city hall as a councilwoman), and the incident with Diane Toliver was the first one I experienced.

    Second, what was the outcome of this incident? I believe Diane did not appear at the last hearing to defend herself, so how important was this to her?

    Lastly, she did act un-normal.

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  3. Since the courtroom had the wall and benches taken out why not put a couple tables up on the main floor in similar setup as city hall library.

    No sound system in city hall library and you cannot hear what some are saying.

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  4. Toliver was the one out of control. Can't wait till she is gone from council.

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  5. Rivers continues to show her true leadership skills - it is always a great idea to promote fear and stretch a silly incident that became extremely distorted and blown out of proportion as if it is an epidemic. She and Toliver contribute so little, of value, to any proceeding that they should just stay home if they are afraid of this trampling problem.

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  6. The disabled man with the cane shouted at her and SHE pushed him, she assaulted him! Everyone who there, including the late Dottie Gutenkauf spoke about her outrageous behavior yelling and acreaming, she almist knocked them all over. Then she filed charges against him. The judge threw the case out of court. She traumatized the disabled man. Not the other way around.

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  7. There is no way at all they should move the meeting back to the library I don't care how many meetings they have had there in the past the library is to small. With all the crime that's happening right here in Plainfield they should want to keep the meetings at the Court House.

    There was a incident there where a man was in the dark parking lot of City Hall with a hood on I went in there and inform the officer when they went to check the scene the man was gone. That could have been a robbery gone wrong.

    I guess Plainfield will wait until something else big happen to move the meeting back to the court house. Just Backwards.

    Renee

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    1. Renee that’s funny you should mention that because when I left the meeting at city hall to walk to my car which was parked on 4th street there was a man wearing a black hoodie on walking toward me. He walked past me and keep going. Go figure.

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  8. HIRE PRIVATE SECURITY DON'T TIE UP COPS BABYSITTING YOUR SILLY ASSES

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  9. Anon 12:52 that's a sidewalk you will have strangers walking by but I am talking about a dark parking lot where the individual had no car in the parking lot but was standing there in the cold just standing there. When I noticed what was going on I immediately informed the authority. This individual was not walking by me he was casing a parking lot.

    You have to be aware of your surroundings and after that incident I always asked my husband or my son go with me to the meetings.

    Now to pay officers to stand in a room when they can be out walking the beat in some of these hot spots is ridiculous.

    Like one of the other commentators said the sound system sucks also in the City Hall Library. It's a bad move and I do not have a good feeling about it at all.

    Renee

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    1. The police don't get paid to be at the courthouse? I wont be surprised when something happens at the library, judging by your comment I believe you will create a situation just to prove your point.

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  10. I'd be more concerned what the interlocking connections between Orange and Plainfield (you can throw in East Orange as well) mean to the health and welfare of our city. Today's FBI raid on Orange City Hall, with a warrant alleging "theft and accepting corrupt payments, theft of federal government funds, wire fraud, extortion, money laundering, conspiracy to commit the crimes, and aiding and abetting the alleged crimes" may be more worrisome than a bit of pushing, shoving, and verbal harassment.

    http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2017/01/federal_probe_in_orange_zeros_in_on_city_hall_corr.html#incart_2box_nj-homepage-featured

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  11. Oh oh ... Orange City Hall raided where Mapp serves as CFO. This should be good.

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    1. Anon 12:56 - looks like I should be worried to, I ate an orange yesterday - that makes me guilty as well.

      Amazing how people jump to conclusions so quickly - maybe sad is a better word.

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  12. Anon 3:55 WOW so out of touch.

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    1. Dude, your all-caps WOW gives you away.

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  13. Replies
    1. Is this Mr. WOW or OFFICER ALL-CAPS???

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  14. Neither i read the blogs so i couldn't resist

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