The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Friday, June 1, 2012

Critical Primary Election This Tuesday

This Tuesday's election is a critical one for Plainfield. You have the choice of voting for Veronica "Roni" Taylor, a progressive and pragmatic voice for the people of Plainfield, or you can vote for her opponent, a PMUA Commissioner who has remained silent on the issues that matter most to you. We have been working hard to get Roni elected, walking through the neighborhoods, talking to voters and other residents, and really trying our best to get Roni's message out. Our campaign team is made up of volunteers--concerned neighbors just like you. We cannot afford to sit this election out--if you don't vote, you are making a choice.

I have been getting feedback from voters on the flyer that PMUA Commissioner Rev. Brown mailed over the weekend, which had an image of her in a pulpit with other ministers along with images of President Obama and Senator Menendez. It looked like all were praying, yet the text of the flyer was political--not religious. Many of you have said you found this mix of a religious setting and politics distasteful--I do as well. 

I can't imagine that our president and our senator would be endorsing the use of their images in such a flyer--moments of prayer are just that--moments of prayer, and they should not be cheaply exploited for political gain--it demeans the intent of the prayer and misleads the public. We are all on the "Obama Team," come November, but to suggest that one has received special religious dispensation from the president due to one's role as a pastor is misleading. 

The other issue about this flyer is the glaring omission of PMUA Commissioner Rev. Brown's work as part of the policy-making body of the authority, and the lack of information she has provided to the voters about what she, as commissioner, is doing to provide relief to the ratepayers. Commissioner Rev. Brown showed a stunning lack of insight into the struggles of PMUA ratepayers. At the forum last week, she stated something to the effect that the PMUA wasn't causing people to lose their homes, which Roni Taylor suggested could be the case. 

The list of liens produced of those who owe the PMUA runs to several pages. The overwhelming majority of liens is for the PMUA. As I was driving through Commissioner Brown's neighborhood--she lives on Jean Terrace in the Second Ward--I was struck by the number of lawn signs her neighbors on Jean Terrace put up in support of her. There are 19 households on Jean Terrace that are listed as "Democrat" on the county voting list. The PMUA lien list has 12 households from Jean Terrace alone listed. 

Twelve of the commissioner's closest neighbors--on her own block--are in danger of losing their homes if they don't find a way to make these payments. It is unlikely that they are aware that she is part of the policy-making body of the PMUA, which sets the rates they find so difficult to pay. It is important for them to know--it is possible that they wouldn't be ornamenting their lawns with her campaign signs if they knew that the votes by their commissioner-neighbor raised their rates by double-digits.  

I would ask that you share your feelings about both the misleading flyer and about Rev. Brown's omission of her work as a longtime PMUA Commissioner in the voting booth by casting your vote for Veronica Taylor on Line 7B. In addition, if you live in the Third Ward, whose homeowners are also struggling greatly under the burden of the PMUA, I suggest you cast your vote for Adrian Mapp on Line 8A.

All best,





  1. Amazing images can be altered and created with Photoshop!!

  2. Having watched Commissioner Brown at numerous PMUA meetings it can be reported that no eruptions of brilliance has been observed. She votes in lockstep with the other Commissioners on all the perfunctory matters, and on those rare occasions when anything personal is imputed she is quick to anger. In her most notable diatribe, for which she subsequently apologized,the volatility of her personality was exposed. She, like most of the other Commissioner appointees, past and present, neither bring nor have brought the experience to the table which comports with the nature of the business they have been appointed to husband. The Commissioners hasten to find occasion for self adulation and commendation for the operating executives. They pay lip service to reducing costs and focus on earth shaking reforms such as whether to buy or lease a vehicle for employee use. The compelling issues of payroll, facility consolidation, excessive use of consultants, equipment maintenance and acquisition, etc., go unattended. On no occasion has Commissioner Brown or any other Commissioner responded sympathetically to a citizens oral complaint regarding the method of assessing, or the magnitude of the rates, the knee jerk response is, "You should see how dirty the city was 16 years ago before the PMUA". Or, "You can't compare our rates to another community because our sewer system is older". ( When the barbarians in Westfield and Cranford were still digging privies in the back yard we had a sewage treatment there, pay your bill and be glad you have our PMUA ).

    There are no less than 9 lovely homes for sale within 1 block of our residence. Some have been listed for a year, some longer. Some are making a second effort after previously having failed to receive an offer. People are fleeing Plainfield. People are losing their homes. The burden of a PMUA bill which is not less than twice, and probably 3 times the necessary cost plays a significant part in the multifaceted disaster which has beset us. Commissioner Brown frequently refers to her obligations to her "community". This repetitive comment indicates that she does not understand her obligation to ALL the citizens of Plainfield as a Commissioner, and potentially as a Councilwomen. Bill Kruse

  3. I noticed one of misleading flyers put out by "Rev." Tracy Brown's camp is to vote for column A which included President Barack Obama on June 5th. Someone really needs to proofread this stuff before disseminating it to the community. I'm pretty sure most of the country knows election day for our President is in November! What a bunch of morons!! Way to go Plainfield!!

    1. Hi, Anonymous at 12:42 pm,

      President Obama is indeed on the primary ballot as the standard-bearer of our party. If you examine your primary ballot, you will see that he is on Line 1A. He will be on the ballot in the general election against opponents from other parties On November 6. I urge you to come out on Tuesday to vote in the Democratic primary for Veronica Taylor on Line 7B and Adrian Mapp on Line 8A.

  4. Roni has got my vote!

  5. President Obama's name is in fact on the primary ballot. If you've looked at the sample ballot you received last week, you might have noticed.