Friday, September 29, 2006

HITS: Menendez, Overcrowding, Shouting, Strategies, and more...



MENENDEZ: IS HELP ON THE WAY? -- The media are swarming on the allegations of Menendez' role in strong-arming a Hudson County psychiatrist to split his take with a doctor on the staff of the agency renting its building from Menendez (itself already a subject of investigation).

The Ledger sub-head this morning is: "Democrats close ranks behind senator." Plainfield Democrats? Let's hope, but PT has not seen or heard any evidence of it yet. With things in such a stew it really behooves the local Dem chair, Assemblyman Jerry Green, to step up to the plate and issue a strong statement of support for Menendez.

PT MUST learn about the problems of writing for the LITERAL-MINDED, as witness the comment below on an earlier post about how this election is putting pressure on Plainfield and Union County Dems to deliver for Menendez:
I checked every single link in your piece and found no references to Green and DeFilippo. Not one.

And if you want to know whether or not gays are strongly supporting Menendez, check out NJ gay organizations like the Stonewall Democrats and Garden State Equality. What you'll find is that they absolutely are, and enthusiastically, too. There's no question, no doubt, no hesitation--none at all.

Well, at least SOMEONE is taking the lead!

HEADS-IN-SAND DEPT. -- Overcrowding was a subject of intense discussion at a meeting of neighborhood residents the other night at St. Mary's School. The meeting, sponsored by the Union County Prosecutor's CP Unit, gathered together representatives of various block associations and neighborhood watches from around the city.

The view in the trenches is at odds with the rosier view of the Administration, which persuaded the Council to overturn the SAFE HOMES ORDINANCE earlier this year, dissolving the program intended to monitor the situation. So, ON WHOSE HANDS WILL THE BLOOD BE when the inevitable fire results in deaths of innocent tenants?

AN EMBARRASSING PERFORMANCE -- Attendees at a S.H.I.E.L.D. meeting at Shiloh Baptist Church this week report they were mortified by the performance of an important local figure, who then continued it in a shouting match with the church's pastor, Dr. Gerald L. Thomas, out in the hallway. Out of sight, perhaps, but not out of hearing. This follow reports of an earlier rant at a recent Planning Board meeting. What IS going on?

MORE ON 'DEVIL IN THE DETAILS' -- PT is told that the Administration has reassured the Council that it will replenish the RAINY DAY FUND that it proposes to use to balance this year's budget -- next year. Question is, HOW? Mayor McWilliams used sales of city-owned properties to bolster the reserves. That lemon has been squeezed. Soooo....?

Meanwhile, past promises of a similar nature come to mind. Do you remember the $9M settlement for the sale of our sanitary sewers to the PARSA? (Never mind that it should have been a $36M sale -- we wuz robbed! by our 'friends'!) Well, you may recall that the money was used repeatedly to balance budgets -- always with the SOLEMN PROMISE that it would be replaced. I kid you not.

'AND MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP' -- With regard to the assertions about how close the new $350,000 condos to be built at East 3rd and Richmond are to the Netherwood Station -- as touted by the Administration -- vs. the main station, PT went out and measured. Are you ready? Richmond Street to Netherwood Station entrance: ¾ mile. Richmond Street to Main Station: 2½ blocks, or one third of a mile. So.

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST? -- In the Moody's rating letter, cited in yesterday's post, is a little gem:
"The new administration, elected in 2005, IS DEVELOPING A STRATEGIC PLAN, which is expected to give direction to finances of the city and in particular to future budgets..."
Wait a minute -- didn't we get the STRATEGIC PLAN at the Mayor's 100 DAYS REPORT at Washington School in April? Which occurred, as you will recall, on the 122nd day of her accession to office? Which report, by the way, has NEVER BEEN SEEN SINCE -- not in print, not posted to the website, not as a handout on the Information Desk, NADA... So tell me, is this a NEW strategic plan? Sometimes, PT just feels so CONFUSED...

BUT, TAKE HEART -- There is HOPE for the confusion. PT discovered that The Tri-County Journal, published by the City's new public information officer, has resumed publication and can be found at several sites around town -- including City Hall and the Senior Center. (That's right, it's a PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT NEWSPAPER, published by a City employee.) The masthead contains the following statement:
The Tri-County Journal cannot be held responsible for any claims or typographical errors on the part of advertisers or columnists or typographical errors on our part.
COMFORTING, especially paired with the boxed item on the same page 'From the Publishers Desk'--

With all of my strenght, hope and determination, PT will rest easy tonight.

And so should you.

DISCLAIMER: In the interest of fairness, any person identified in a HITS post who believes he/she has been portrayed unfairly or that the information about him/her is untrue will have the opportunity to respond in this space.

-- Dan Damon

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