Saturday, August 19, 2006

Letter - Courier - Editorial Ignores Dem Machine

Published in the Courier News, Saturday, August 19, 2006

[Letter to Editor]
Editorial on city ignores (Democratic) machine

Thank you for the recent editorial citing the apparent decline in crime in Plainfield. However, your conclusion that the "good news" is due to the new administration's abillity to get everyone to work together is a bit misplaced.

You correctly cite that the redeployment of police to increase patrols was initiated under Mayor Albert T. McWilliams and that he successfully fought to "shake up the status quo." You seemed to forget that McWilliams sought and received a review of the police department from the state, which was highly critical of the "top heavy" department and its past practices of having so many seasoned police sitting around in headquarters.

It is my understanding that most of the state's recommendations were put in place. It was this push from the past administration for these officers (most of whom do not live in Plainfield) to do their job that caused the "rank-and-file police officers to blast city officials."

While you indicate that "some dissatisfaction with bold steps" is acceptable, you seem to applaud the "absence of discontented voices" saying it is a "promising change." Many of us in Plainfield do not agree. Our apprehension with the current government which seems to be so clearly "working together" is just that.

With the death of Ray Blanco, there is no one who dares speak out and question the Democratic machine that runs our city and county. The selection by the Democratic committee to replace Blanco with Harold Gibson, rather than the qualified but independent Hispanic, Christian Estevez, is just another example of the lack of democracy that appears to be the current status quo in Plainfield.

Mr. Gibson, as brother of former Newark Mayor Ken Gibson and currently Union County public safety director, is clearly a Democratic party insider. I've lived in Plainfield for more than 20 years and have been a member of the Democratic party for more than 30 years. My husband and I sought out this city to raise our children and we choose to stay here. However, the city can only thrive if its government is more than a jobs program or a guaranteed Democratic party voting block.


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Plainfield resident since 1983. Retired as the city's Public Information Officer in 2006; prior to that Community Programs Coordinator for the Plainfield Public Library. Founding member and past president of: Faith, Bricks & Mortar; Residents Supporting Victorian Plainfield; and PCO (the outreach nonprofit of Grace Episcopal Church). Supporter of the Library, Symphony and Historic Society as well as other community groups, and active in Democratic politics.