Saturday, April 21, 2007

Mayor Explains Unsigned Draft

Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs said Monday (April 16, 2007) she submitted a proclamation to be read at the funeral of the late Mayor Albert T. McWilliams, but she said, “unbeknownst to me, they printed a draft.”

The unsigned draft appeared in the program for the service at Shiloh Baptist Church on April 12.

Earlier Monday, Assemblyman Jerry Green explained to Plaintalker that all dignitaries were asked to submit draft memorial resolutions or proclamations, but he sent one that was signed. In the end, it was not printed nor was Green asked to speak at the funeral.

The City Council’s resolution was not used either and the Rev. Gerald Lamont Thomas said numerous church resolutions were received, but not included in the service.

The program included a letter of sympathy from Gov. Jon Corzine, a resolution from the Union County Board of Freeholders and a resolution from the board of directors of Plainfield Neighborhood Health Services. A church resolution from Shiloh was also read.

Meanwhile, barely a week after the funeral, a vicious attack on former McWilliams spokesman Dan Damon turned up. Damon said he learned about it from someone who saw it at City Hall. He printed a forwarded copy on his blog but could not find any copies at City Hall later. The flyer included numerous allegations about Damon’s professional life at City Hall as well as a personal insult.

While it is not the first time City Hall has been used as a venue for political venom, it is disheartening to hear that bias and hate speech may have been disseminated there. Plaintalker does not share Dan’s gusto for “turning things over with a pointy stick,” but pointed inquiry into the doings of elected officials is a long-standing tradition that columnists such as Bob Ingle still honor.

--Bernice Paglia


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