The World According to Cammarano
One hopes that the 44 recent arrests will make everyone in elected office think twice before skirting ethics rules.
So far, Union County politics have not hit the headlines. But we have our eye out ...
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A contract to operate Dudley House, cabinet appointments, salary increases for crossing guards, bonds for road improvements, 22 liens for property cleanups and establishment of an information manager's position are all on the agenda tonight, among other matters.
It has been good to see the newest and youngest City Council member, Annie McWilliams, taking notes and asking questions at meetings since she was sworn in Jan. 1 as the citywide at-large representative, meaning her constituency is all four wards of the city. Wherever you live in Plainfield, you can bring your concerns to her.
Each resident also has another at-large representative, Linda Carter for Wards 1 & 4 and Council President Rashid Burney for Wards 2& 3. Then you have one representative for each ward: William Reid, Ward 1; Cory Storch, Ward 2; Adrian Mapp, Ward 3 and Elliott Simmons, Ward 4. Contact information for council members is posted here on the city web site.
One thing that came out in the Connolly saga was that residents don't always let their landlords or City Hall know about housing issues. The proper way to proceed is first to ask the landlord to fix things. If that doesn't work, you can file a complaint with the Inspections Division at (908) 753-3386. And now that the council is revisiting the issue of safe and decent housing, your input can help your representatives understand what tenants face in rental housing. Renters constitute about half of all city households and more apartment housing is planned for the future.
Your council members have many other issues to deal with, and your communication with them can help their decisionmaking.
Tonight's meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.
In March 2008, I urged Plainfielders to buy "The Soprano State: New Jersey's Culture of Corruption." Now the book is out in paperback, "Updated with the latest scandals," and my copy arrived last week from Amazon.
It is more compelling than ever in this election year. The names are so familiar and yet when set in the context of scandalous behavior, they come across as Dorian Gray types who keep look great until the past catches up with them.
It is this shameful behavior that one hopes will stop being the norm in New Jersey. The go along to get along, cost of doing business, pay-to-play charade must stop, if only for the millions it costs taxpayers in patronage, no-show jobs and dual office holding for the purpose of getting mammoth pensions.
It happens at the state level that is the main focus of journalist authors Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure, but it also occurs at the county and local level. Take a look at this web site and notice how many people in positions of public trust are on it.
Politicians are good at mouthing the words "honesty" and "transparency" even as some land up behind bars. Government at all levels needs an infusion of moral uplift. Will it happen?
Last week the land line lost its dial tone - again. Verizon promised to have someone out by Monday, but luckily the technician arrived yesterday. Meanwhile, the DSL was acting fishy as well. All this has been going on since June 4, despite a visit from another technician. So as I was hurrying over to Grace Church to drop something off for the yard sale, it dawned on me that I was a week early. These telecom distractions are driving me batty. Maybe this time it is fixed, although the computer began spewing out dozens of repeat windows after I clicked on a Gannett Blog successor, and then it froze. It took some time to get it back to normal. As of right now, things seem to be working.