To the editor,
In his remarks on June 1st commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, President Joe Biden clearly spoke to the importance of Truth:
“We do ourselves no favors by pretending none of this ever happened or that it doesn’t impact us today, because it does still impact us today” said the president. “We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know and not what we should know. We should know the good, the bad, everything. That’s what great nations do: They come to terms with their dark sides. And we’re a great nation.”
The City of Plainfield is a great city. It's where I've lived for the past 22 years, longer than anywhere else. But it needs to come to terms with a rot that lies too close to its soul and has inhibited real progress year after year. Rooting out these detrimental influences is why I am supporting Sean McKenna for mayor. No other candidate seems to me to be capable of taking on this task, or even understanding what has gone down in the past and continues to this day. In fact, in the case of our current mayor Adrian Mapp, accommodating the rot has largely been his MO for climbing the ladder of his outsized political ambition.
Since I was first appointed to the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee in 2009, and again in 2010, I've been aware of significant fraud revolving around the Inter Local Agreement between the City and its agency, the PMUA. By my estimate, this scam cost taxpayers upwards of $2.1 million over a ten year period beginning in 1998 and coming to full fruition in 1999. The corruption of the Inter Local Agreement began in 1998, neatly coinciding with Mapp's appointment to the City Council to fill the unexpired term of Al McWilliams, who would become mayor that same year. For 23-years Mapp has done nothing but look the other way. Today we've got the mayor on one side of the scam, while his sister-in-law sits on the other side, as CFO and Deputy Director of the PMUA. Between them, there are numerous enablers, still solidly entrenched in this city: PMUA auditors Lerch, Vinci & Higgins (also the Board of Education auditors), City auditors Suplee Clooney, law firms McManimon & Scotland and DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, to name a few. It is the essence of an unscrupulous Political-Industrial Complex more interested in notching one more municipal contract or offer of personal employment, willing to pay the freight of regular campaign contributions to maintain their status, and bottom-line, not interested in the least about the welfare of our city.
As the president said, “We do ourselves no favors by pretending none of this ever happened or that it doesn’t impact us today, because it does still impact us today”.
I have faith that Sean McKenna understands how this rot undermines our city, and moreover, and most importantly, that he will bring reforms that will have long-term benefits for every resident. Instead of just apartment development, real economic development will only come once we've cleaned up our own mess both politically and in the streets. A more attractive downtown that caters to residents and visitors alike will bring more opportunities for commerce, entrepreneurship, and overall enjoyment. Insisting on real data and results analysis will improve the programming the city provides to enhance the lives of our children, seniors, and everyone in between, in mind and in body. We'll attract more qualified people as public servants, resulting in a more efficient and attentive city government. We could end the schism between the City and the Board of Ed, and usher in a new era of cooperation, by exorcising ourselves of the old guard that has kept us down and out. For now, I will leave it at that.
I am going to vote for Sean McKenna for mayor of Plainfield. As a City Councilman and former Planning Board member, Sean knows the issues facing our city and has shown the mettle to move us forward. I ask all Plainfielders to follow suit.