City Council President Responds
I do not normally respond to criticism of any action I take. It is however important to me to make sure the record is clear relative to my action regarding the late Mayor McWilliams memorial.
First and foremost there was never any formal action taken by the Council to place the memorial on the agenda. Although I was absent from the prior meeting due to my being hospitalized, I took the time to inquire of each member of the City Council as to whether the normal processes had been followed to place the issue on the agenda for a vote. What actually took place was the City Clerk placed on the proposed agenda a "Proposed Resolution" dealing with the memorial. There is no such thing as a "Proposed Resolution". I therefore took the appropriate action as President of the Municipal Council, and removed the item from consideration.
I am not under any pressure to support nor deny support for any action relative to memorializing the late mayor. History will show that my wife served as a campaign manager during Mayor McWilliams first campaign. It is rather easy for those persons who wish to remain anonymous to throw darts at me as an elected official. I stand behind my decision(s) without any reservations whatsoever.
Any person who has negative feelings about this issue should take the time to go through the history of not only Plainfield, but also this country. There is no celebration or memorialization of the death of any public figure. To compare the late mayor to Sheriff Ralph Froehlich, who has been elected and re-elected for 30 years or the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and accomplishments have been memorialized with a national holiday celebrating his birthday, not the date of his assassination, is more than absurd.
One individual raised the issue of the naming of a street for former Mayor Richard L. Taylor. If that was what the McWilliams family and friends were seeking there would be less reluctance to consider such an action. But what we as the governing body have been requested to do goes far beyond an honorarium of a street name, and we must consider the impact of any action we take.
Finally, for the record, I would vehemently oppose the naming of the area selected by the McWilliams Memorial Committee as the Gerald Green Memorial Square, or the Sharon Robinson-Briggs Memorial Square. My commitment is to the more than 48,000 citizens of Plainfield, not to any individual or group of individuals.
Click here to read the article that appeared on the blog.