The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Mayor Calls Me a "Riot" Starter

Last week, I sent an email to Corporation Counsel David Minchello (with a “cc” to the City Administrator and Public Works Director) regarding the mayor’s so-called “Community Event” to receive reassurance that no city funds would be used to mount this event which, at that time, was scheduled to occur at Washington Community School on Friday evening. Overseeing the public purse is part of our fiduciary responsibility as the governing body. Somehow, this email got into the hands of the mayor (who was NOT on the distribution list), who responded with her usual ridiculous and embarrassing histrionics. She accused me of wanting to start a “riot”—absolutely preposterous. She further asserts that my email caused her to feel "unduly annoyed" (???) and "discriminated against" and that my "actions" [I guess she means ensuring that the law is followed] are having a "negative impact" on her health. I have posted her ludicrous email below with the most absurd portions highlighted in bold red. My response to my colleagues and all the other people she included follows. If I am guilty of anything here--it is of being long-winded and repetitious (lol).

Cabinet Members: 

PLEASE DO NOTHING FURTHER with regard to a non-City Event scheduled for Friday, May 24, 2013.  I have read the very unprofessional messages by Councilwoman Williams.  You
have properly informed her that the event is not a city event.  End of story.

Unfortunate for our community, it appears that she is trying to start a “riot” and cause us as a community to receive negative press.  I feel unduly annoyed and discriminated against, and her actions are having a negative impact on my health.  I am formerly requesting Council President to have her Council Member reminded of proper protocol and to discontinue asking Cabinet Members/Division Heads/Staff to use city time (taxpayer money!!!) on a non-city event.

Respectfully submitted,

Sharon Robinson-Briggs
Mayor, City of Plainfield

To my colleagues and the cabinet members:

Since you have been misled by an email you recently received, please note what I requested from Mr. Minchello, OUR Corporation Counsel--who works for the city council. What I asked Mr. Minchello to confirm was the following:

I will be assuring them [my constituents who expressed concern] that NO taxpayer funds and/or city resources will be used for this event. That includes the following:
NO use of City of Plainfield videotape equipment (camera, microphones, tripod, cables, etc.)
NO city employees/personnel putting in for time (not in Media Division, Senior Ctr., etc.)
NO police (unless they are paid for by the event promoters--will want to see proof)
NO senior citizen buses being used to bus people to event
NO city seal
NO use of city website or public access station to promote event
NO airing of any videotape of this event until after June 4 primary (it would be a violation of PCTV station policy (and FCC rules) regarding equal time for candidates.

Can you please confirm that Dir. Hellwig, Chris Payne, Lamar Mackson, Al Restaino, Sharron Brown, and other people in the relevant divisions are made aware of this, and copy me on their confirmation/response?

What has happened in the past is that folks plead "ignorance" until after the fact--I want to circumvent any misunderstanding of what this is.    

There was nothing "unprofessional" in my due diligence on behalf of residents and taxpayers in ensuring that CORPORATION COUNSEL Mr. Minchello reassure me--so that I can reassure my constituents that NO TAXPAYER FUNDS OR OTHER RESOURCES (such as staff, video equipment, senior buses, etc.) will be used for this non-city event.

That is a standard request for information--I am not flouting "protocol" by making a reasonable request of OUR CORPORATION COUNSEL for confirmation that all parties are aware of the rules and regulations. I can "cc" whomever I want.

As my email was sent to specific parties and not to the mayor, I feel discriminated against, and her actions (in the form of this email) are having a negative impact on my health. The "end of story" is that no city funds (as in the case of the fraudulent misuse of city funds for the "WBLS event) or resources can be used for this non-city event.


P.S. And Her Honor means "formally," not "formerly." 


  1. The concept of a government that's of the people, by the people, and for the people seems to have passed on. The unnecessary focus, by all parties, on process and protocol instead of outcomes on results continues to confound...

  2. Ha ha! Maybe she will be "formerly" soon

  3. The last two mayoral terms have had a deleterious effect on the health of my city.

  4. How dare you question what Her Highness does in an attempt to make sure things are done legally? Dear me!

  5. I guess her Highny doesn't being held accountable. We already know that. I hope the vast majority of voters are tired of Sharon's histrionics and disorganization. Time to move on and onto a better Plainfield.

  6. On her majesty's email, quote,"I think she doth protest too much." At least you didn't ask her how she recovered from broncitis in 2 days.