Friday, May 26, 2017

Initial Post on Forum, More Later

About 150 people came out Thursday to hear mayoral and council candidate pitches at Shiloh Baptist Church, but if you missed it, a video may be up soon.
videos are up on Shiloh Baptist Church Facebook site
Pastor Hodari K. Hamilton welcomed the crowd and gave a prayer before the four mayoral candidates and five of the six council candidates spoke.

The mayoral field includes incumbent Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, seeking a second four-year term; first-time candidate Dr. Henrilynn Ibezim, a former Citywide at-large Councilwoman Tracey Brown, pastor of Ruth Fellowship  Ministries; and Fourth Ward Councilwoman Bridget Rivers.

Running with Mapp are Fourth Ward candidate Steve Hockaday for a four-year term, and Councilwoman Joylette Mills-Ransome, who was appointed in January to the Second & Third Ward at-large seat and is seeking the balance of the unexpired term;to Dec. 31, 2018. Ibezim's running mates are former Councilman Elliott Simmons for Fourth Ward  and Cameron Cox for the unexpired term. Brown is running with Terri Briggs for Fourth Ward. Rivers will be on the ballot with Alma Blanco for the unexpired term. Blanco was ill and did not attend the forum.

Reminder: Candidates submitted bios to the League of Women Voters - see here

Issues included public safety, redevelopment, gun violence, need for a community center and the type of medical facility desired for the Muhlenberg site.
Bridget Rivers
In opening remarks, Rivers said, "I understand politics," and promised a "full-services community center for our youth."

 Dr. Henrilynn Ibezim
Ibezim mentioned Psalm27 and said, "I am running to make a difference."
Rev. Tracey Brown
Brown gave a long list of credentials, including leading 30 churches, and said the city needs a youth center that is open late.
Mayor Adrian Mapp
Mapp said when he came into office, he found "a city in need of being remade," lacking a chief financial officer for seven years, among other things. Now, he said, crime is down 25 percent and economic development is at an all-time high.

Regarding the 10-acre Muhlenberg tract, Brown, Ibezim and Rivers said the city needs a full-service hospital. . Mapp said, "We are returning health care services to the Muhlenberg campus," saying it had been "abandoned" for the past eight years.

To be continued tomorrow

 Terri Briggs, Cameron Cox, Steve Hockaday

Hockaday, Joylette Mills-Ransome, Elliott Simmons


  1. Thanks for the post Bernice.

    I was really fascinated by both Rivers and Brown's lack of any content to most of the questions. They really just string words together and think that defines a policy. They also both suddenly are in favor of PILOTS after they have both been Anti-PILOT since they started running for Mayor. The fact that Bridget Rivers went into detail about how she didn't understand them before until someone explained it to her several times is cause enough to skip her - she voted for them and didn't know what she was voting for?

    Brown's list of economic development goals is pathetic. 98% of them aren't even economic development projects - they are capital improvement projects.

    Neither of them is qualified to be Mayor - plain and simple. We had that with Sharon - no need to repeat that nonsense again.

  2. Well I just have to say this about the Council portion of the evening. Cameron Cox and Terri Briggs are seriously unprepared to be on the city council. Briggs' answers made no sense and she didn't have a solid policy issue for anything.

    As for Mr. Cox, that poor guy is just downright confused. I don't understand how someone with a Masters in Public Administration can say "where did the money come from for the roads all of sudden?"

    Anyone with a basic understanding of municipal finance would know that the Planning Board is required by statute to submit a capital improvement plan to council by October 1st for the following fiscal year budget. Council approves/declines etc. That was all done last year and included the funding for the roads that are being paved this year.

    To act as if spring is an odd time to pave roads is another puzzling thing. Who has ever seen a road paved in January? Sorry but this poor guy is just not up to the task.

  3. For anyone in attendance last night they would have found an interesting commonality amongst the Mayoral candidates that I don't think was an accident at all. I think Mayor Mapp's opponents had a little coordination beforehand.

    There were constant references to back-room deals and nobody knowing where money is going.

    Anyone that follows the council and has attended at least two meetings would have a general understanding that the entire process of spending funds is so regulated by statutes that anyone with an agenda in their hands could get an idea of what is being spent. Any time the mayor negotiates something (development agreements, PILOTS, Tax Abatements, contract with a software company) the council has to approve it - which means they get a damned copy of the agreement. Any time the mayor spends money the council has to authorize the payment before a check is issued. If the Mayor wants to move money from public works to parks and recreation - the council has to approve the transfer.

    For Brown and Rivers to play the "nobody tells me anything" is reason enough not to vote for either one of them. They are either total liars or complete fools not to know how things are managed in municipal government. Whatever the answer - neither is worthy of being Mayor of Plainfield.