Residents who are inclined to believe Roselle Mayor Donald A. Shaw must think that he lives with his 78-year-old mother in law, Eugenia L Sumpter, at 518 Brooklawn Avenue in Roselle, rather than in the Elizabeth home that he purchased with his wife, Kimberly M Sharrock-Shaw.
Although Shaw agreed to make his Elizabeth home his “primary residence” in mortgage documents, the Mayor listed his mother in law’s address when he registered to vote.
More than a few residents are calling B.S. on that explanation.
Among those that are not demanding honest answers from the Mayor are Councilwomen Denise Wilkerson and Cindy Thomas, who have accepted Shaw’s endorsement for their re-election campaigns.
Wilkerson and Thomas recently stood alongside Shaw as a borough street was unnecessarily closed during rush hour while another establishment politician hosted a grand opening party attended by out of town influencers who control a sizable share of municipal spending.
Neither Wilkerson nor Thomas asked Shaw about his residency despite recent disclosures of his mortgage documents and the deed to his Elizabeth property, which were filed with the Union County Clerk’s Office.
Wilkerson and Thomas are running for re-election to the council seats they now occupy but many former supporters say the two women deserve to be defeated.
Covering up the Mayor’s crimes isn’t the only complaint against the prevailing political establishment.
Residents blame the Mayor and the two Councilwomen for ignoring the rise in gun violence in the community, where authorities have yet to identify the gunmen responsible for the last four shootings, including the one that put a teenager in the hospital after he was stuck with a bullet in in front of Wilkerson’s home.
That voters are subjected to such arrogance as closing streets for political convenience, handing out implausible excuses for remaining in office while living in another city, or utterly failing to solve gun violence are all signs of a failing democracy.
Government officials who engage in misconduct but are not held accountable by the citizens may be relied upon to perpetuate greater violations of the public trust.
Voters who have no problem with the Mayor claiming that he is ‘shacking up’ with his 78-year-old mother in law while he resides in another city, are merely inviting politicians to lie, cheat and steal.