Thursday, June 18, 2009

With Sincere Gratitude to My Beloved City of Plainfield

Now that the dust has settled and the clouds have cleared and people have, hopefully, returned to their way of life in the wake of the Plainfield elections, I want to take this opportunity to once again congratulate the Mayor on her victory.

I want to also take this opportunity to thank the voters of Plainfield for the consideration given to me and, although I did not win the mayoralty, I won the hearts, minds, and trust of Plainfielders across the city, to whom I will always be grateful.

I must give a special thanks to my entire campaign team, who worked extremely hard every day of the campaign because they love Plainfield; they believed in me, and they believed in the cause. I want to thank my lovely wife, Amelia, and our two wonderful daughters, Ayisha and Shermona, for their sacrifices.

The battle I waged was a formidable one; the cause in which I believe is just, and my desire for change that will lead to the transformation of our city lives on. My determination to make a difference in the lives of everyone living in Plainfield has not been deterred, and my resolve remains strong.

My vision for the city that I love so very much will not be clouded or derailed by the slender margin given to another, but rather will be nurtured by the many souls who continue to call for positive change. What I began the campaign thinking of as "my" vision for the city has become our collective vision--the input I received from the residents as I walked through this city helped clarify our shared vision of hope as we move forward over the next several years. My friends, our vision lives on.

I will continue to be a voice for honest, ethical leadership, and I will hold myself and my colleagues accountable only to you, the residents of our wonderful city.

Thank you, my beloved city of Plainfield!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back to Work: My PMUA Proposal for Positive Change

Dear friends,

Now that the spring primary season is over, it is time to get back to work on the issues we have been discussing for several months now. Back in March of this year, I presented a very clear and detailed vision for Plainfield that included reining in the PMUA and providing tax relief to property owners.

As I walked this city and talked with Plainfield residents, the most compelling issue at hand was the issue of the PMUA's outrageous rate increases and insensitivity to the ratepayers as they took expensive trips to conferences completely unrelated to their mission, the last one to the tune of about $25,000.

At that time, I articulated a plan that would bring the PMUA under the city’s umbrella, thus having all PMUA charges included in the property tax bill of Plainfield property owners. In addition, my plan would protect the frontline employees, and rid homeowners of the unfair, revenue-generating "cart fees" that we all have found so onerous.

I continue to receive substantial email from you, the ratepayers, about the wasteful spending and lack of transparency at the PMUA, and I want to assure you that I will be taking action immediately. That means now.

The lack of accountability on the part of the PMUA leadership offended the sensibilities of virtually every resident I met. I spoke with many of you about my intention to draft a resolution to ensure that the Plainfield city council, which has some say in what the PMUA does, takes action.

The council has a fiduciary responsibility to the residents of Plainfield to make sure that each commissioner seeking appointment is thoroughly vetted and does not have any conflicts of interest in serving.

Further, most companies cut back on conference travel and other questionable expenses as belt-tightening measures during troubled economic times. The PMUA should do the same, so I will follow through on a proposal to cut all travel until the PMUA makes clear its policies on such.

I will be asking my council colleagues to stand with me on this issue and support passage of this resolution. I look forward to your comments.



Thank You for Your Support

Dear Friends,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support during my mayoral campaign. I will be individually thanking all those who worked day and night on behalf of me and the New Democrats for Plainfield, but I wanted to give a community "shout out" to all the residents who came out to vote. Although we did not prevail, your energy and enthusiasm touched me deeply. I congratulated the mayor on her successful renomination as the Democratic candidate. And congratulations also to Bridget Rivers, who successfully ran for the 4th Ward city council seat. I look forward to having Bridget on the council with the rest of our colleagues. Now it is time for all of us to get back to work on YOUR behalf!