NJ Voices: Sharpe James’ Newark: No city for little guys

NJ Voices: Sharpe James’ Newark: No city for little guys

Soon, odd things happen. James calls him and tells him to go to a furniture store on Springfield Avenue to meet with a former mayoral aide — now an ex-con, Jackie Mattison — who’s looking for some of the land action. Franklin, the serious land-use planner, a dignified, soft-spoken guy with big dreams for a city, feels used as a messenger by his mayor.

More strange stuff: First he is told to help Riley, someone he knows is not a developer. Then he’s told to stop. She demands to know why. He says he doesn’t know. This guy who’s trying to rebuild a city is caught in a place no one wants to be.

A few days later, at night, the mayor himself shows up at his house. Franklin has to go outside and get in the mayor’s car, like a scene from a bad gangster movie. He says the mayor berates him for not knowing how to handle “high-strung” people.

Details emerge on the bizarre back-room dealings of the Sharpe James administration. What’s shocking from the Times article is that some Newarkers seem to condone this behavior. Protectionism and cronyism are not the “American” way, and they’re not the only way to get things done.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s