Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Mayor: Brown Arriving April 1

Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs confirmed Tuesday that her first-term director of Public Works & Urban Development, Jennifer Wenson Maier, will stay on in 2010 to April 1.

The City Council approved the appointment of David Brown II to the post at the Jan. 1 reorganization. Brown was not present for the meeting, although Wenson Maier was in the audience. No mention was made of a delay in his taking office, nor was there any designation of Wenson Maier as acting director.

The news comes on the heels of an announcement that newly-appointed acting City Administrator and director of Administration, Finance, Health & Social Services Bibi Taylor will be leaving at the end of January for a post in East Orange.

That leaves Public Affairs & Safety Director Martin Hellwig, also the police director, as the only one of three department heads to have a clear four-year term concurrent with that of the mayor.

While the mayor has the power to make acting appointments without City Council approval, such actions have not always been openly communicated. In 2006, former City Administrator Norton Bonaparte was named director of Administration, Finance, Health & Social Services. He left in March 2006 to become the first city manager of Topeka, Kans. But no successor was named and apparently former City Administrator Carlton McGee additionally served in acting capacity as department head until he resigned in October 2006.

The current council does not seem to be inclined to accept half-measures or partial communication. By the next agenda session (Jan. 11, 2009), it is likely that the governing body will want the situation to be spelled out.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown arriving April 1st? Yeah...sure. What you will see is that in March the mayor will announce that he is not coming after all and that Jenny will be re-named.

Many in Plainfield do not want to see JWM back. It will be up to the council to not reappoint her.

There is a law in Plainfield that only allows for a maximum of 90 days appointment.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Work around City Hall is that the Administration is giving JWM time to find amother job because she has children..... She should be afforded the same consideration as those people on the lay-off list are.NONE

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Brown will come on as head of Public Works or as City Administrator, the job for which he was interviewed...but what will we do until April 1 with no City Administrator or head of Administration & Finance?

As for giving JWM time to find another job, remember that the layoffs (which I'm opposed to) aren't effective for several months. I've heard that after Sharon became mayor, she let Dan Damon stay on the payroll until his pension was vested, when she could have just let him go and lose his pension. That was the humane thing to do then and it's the humane thing to do now.

11:16 AM  

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