Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
-- Steve Jobs
Several constituents have contacted me regarding the fraudulent and illegal activities that occurred in the Recreation Division that were related to Plainfield’s Independence Day events. As I noted in a previous blog, the Recreation Division was handing out applications with the following additional information—which has been determined to be absolutely, unequivocally illegal:
Food Vendor Permit for $250.00 and/or Merchandise Vendor’s Permit for $125.00—each of which would include two “badges.” Also, additional “badges” would be available for $5.00 each. These fees were made up, and the so-called “badges” were non-existent.
In particular, these residents want to know what, if any, actions the administration has undertaken (or is undertaking) to investigate the malfeasance. The administration has an ethical obligation to contact every business owner who wrote a check for the illegal permit fees and ensure that this illegal money is returned—in addition, it is their legal responsibility to contact the proper law enforcement authorities so that a full investigation can be conducted. It is due to the continued turning of a “blind eye” regarding wrongdoing that our city keeps getting “black eyes.”
I have told these residents to call the Mayor and the City Administrator directly to ask about this. I hope they do so. The administration (as well as every councilor) owes it to the honest, taxpaying businesses and residents of the city of Plainfield to demonstrate fairness, transparency, and ethical behavior. That this illegal operation was being run out of Plainfield’s Recreation Division is bad enough—to further obfuscate through silence is worse.
For those who have asked that the city council conduct its own investigation—that would be the next step. It behooves us to root out corruption wherever it exists.
Click here for a news story this morning about corruption in Trenton’s municipal government:
Ps: To the anonymous individual who keeps posting vague information about a 4th of July vendor contract from 2002 or thereabouts, you should ask the Recreation Division for information about that. As I was not on the council back then, I have no knowledge of what you are talking about. The city council in 2002 was comprised of Elizabeth Urquhart-1st Ward, Bob Ferraro-2nd Ward (deceased), Malcolm Dunn-3rd Ward, Joanne Hollis-4th Ward, Albert Hendricks-1st & 4th Ward At-large, Adrian Mapp-2nd & 3rd Ward At-large, and Joseph Montgomery-Citywide At-large. Several of these individuals are still around, so you would have to ask them whether they were apprised of possible wrongdoing back then, and whether or not they did a full investigation of the Recreation Division, along with any findings.