Blog Posts

The Gutenkauf family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support following the passing of our beloved Dottie in December.  Please join us in celebrating her life and legacy on Saturday, March 19th 2016.

DG Memorial invite

On March 19th, 2016, family, friends, cohorts and fans will come together in celebration of the life of Dorothy “Dottie” Miller Gutenkauf, who passed away in December. This event is open to anyone who was touched by Dottie’s remarkable spirit. There will be an abundance the things she loved most – amazing people, incredible music, insightful words and exceptional food.

Musical selections will include The Solidarity Singers, as well as segments of the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players and more.

For more information, please email


“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

(Lord Acton, 1887)

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

(George Santayana, 1905)

“If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

(Abraham Lincoln)

“The illusion of power is power.”

(Max Weber. a German sociologist)

“Smart people believe half what they hear; discerning people know which half to believe”

(Bulletin board, First Park Baptist Church, Plainfield, May 30, 2014)

A number of years ago, Jerry asked us to come to his office and review a campaign mailer his consultant had drafted.  It opposed a council candidate, I don’t remember who, because a number of his relatives were in prison.  Joe and I told him it was a bad idea, because many Plainfielders had relatives in prison, and there would be a backlash.  Jerry sent it out anyway, and the backlash was tremendous–his candidate lost, and the person he attacked won.  After that, for a long time, Jerry asked our advice on such matters.  But now, he has apparently forgotten the advice we gave him, and much of which he has said of what he had learned us–so many of the mailers he has sent to Democrats in Wards 2 and 3 have been nothing but negative in the extreme.  It makes me angry–and it makes me very sad.






May 31, 2014


If you got the same mailing I did today from Jerry Green, accusing the “New Democrats” of being “completely out of control,” you may have thought seriously, as I did, as to just who is really “COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL” here–and it’s not the “New Democrats,” it’s Jerry Green himself.

My late husband Joe and I worked with (not for) Jerry Green for about 30 years, and he often told us how much he had learned from us.  Now it appears that he has forgotten it all.  His current actions indicate to me that he is afraid of losing what control he has, and is lashing out at those he sees as a threat to his continuing to be “in charge” of Plainfield.

This saddens me immensely.  Joe and I were never members of the “New Democrats,” but Joe would have been as outraged as I am about the increasing nastiness of the trash Jerry has been inflicting on Plainfield’s citizens through these mailings.  The “letter” from Senate President Sweeney (which Sweeney didn’t write and has probably never seen) was bad enough–but the mailer we received today was so much worse that it’s hard to describe.   Clearly, Jerry has completely lost control of his ego and his former good sense.  And I believe the cause is fear.

And what is he so afraid of?  Losing what control he thinks he has over Plainfield and over the Union County Democratic Party…and his reputation in Trenton.  Because if his City Council candidates lose, which I sincerely hope they will, it will demonstrate that Jerry’s once-vaunted power is gone, and with it any credibility he has in New Jersey politics.  After all, if you can’t carry your own town, why should others give you control over theirs?

I have heard reports of the last Democratic City Committee meeting which I find extremely disturbing.  Never, as long as Joe and I were committee members, did Jerry simply announce who the council candidates would be–there was  always an opportunity for nominations and a vote by the committee; that was how decisions were made.  Now, the Plainfield Democratic City Committee has become a victim of one-man rule, and in that case, what’s the point of even meeting?  Why have a “committee” if the chair is going to make all the decisions by himself?  Why waste your time?  (Unless, of course, you have been promised a job somewhere.)

I confess that I am more than distressed and .more that just dismayed–I am absolutely disgusted.  And even though I’m not a member of the “New Democrats,” I will be working as hard as I can to help elect their candidates in Column E on Tuesday.  Jerry needs to get the message that one-man rule doesn’t work in a democracy and that elected officials are and must remain accountable to the people.  Holding office is not just a mark of status–it’s a lot of obligations to all our citizens.  And to get respect, you must give it!

PLAINFIELD DESERVES BETTER–and in this primary, and in elections to come, I hope we’ll get it.   I for one will keep trying, and I hope you’ll all do the same.





Another surprise for you!

On   June 3 I will be voting for the “New Democrats” candidates in Column E on the ballot.  I am not a member  of the “New Democrats,” but I am voting for their council candidates anyway.

I’m doing this because I believe they will do a good job on the council and will support the mayor in his efforts to move Plainfield forward.  Last November, Adrian Mapp got an overwhelming 70 per cent of the vote, and that should have sent a clear message to Plainfield’s politicians and political activists.  Alas, they didn’t get it–and now most of those same folks are now attacking Adrian (and the “New Democrats” running for the council)–indeed, the anti-Mapp faction on the city council is trying to block his ability to bring positive change to move Plainfield forward and away from the morass in City Hall that has increasingly characterized the past eight years.

Here’s one example:  Mayor Mapp wants to hire a Public Information Officer–a job that has gone unfilled for many years–and the council took it out of the budget.  Another example that borders on the weird is the fact that earlier this year, the mayor requested the council to add another position, Chief of Staff, and the council did it, complete with salary band.  Now, the council has taken that position out of the budget completely!

Prior to this special council meeting, the mayor went on the Plainfield Community Access TV channel to urge the council to put these two positions back in the budget–but they didn’t.

AND THERE’S MORE: now some council members are so upset about the mayor’s television speech that they plan to devote an entire meeting on May 29 to attempting to bring legal charges against the mayor for having done that.

THIS IS SHAMEFUL, and those Council members, as one member of the public stated, were essentially “cutting off the mayor’s nose” to spite his efforts to improve the city.

If I hadn’t intended to vote for Rebecca Williams and Charles McRae before, the monkey business on the council May 20 and 27 would surely have convinced me.  Several months ago, when I told Assemblyman ,Jerry Green (who also chairs the Union County Democratic Committee) of my intention to vote for them he was, of course, not pleased–he and I have been friends and colleagues for 30 years.  Now, I am very disappointed with the literature he has been mailing out–and when the primary is over, and hopefully the candidates I’m voting for win the primary, I hope Jerry and I will be on speaking terms again–after all, he spoke at my late husband’s memorial about a year ago,  and at my retirement dinner several years ago, and had good things to say about us.

Between now and January (when the new council members are sworn in), we will have to watch the council very carefully to make sure they don’t do any more damage  And I hope Plainfielders will elect the candidates in Column E when they vote on June 3rd. 




February 15, 2010:  A lot has happened!

Welcome to my blog!  I know, you’re going to say “It’s about time”…well, that’s what my son John has been saying since Christmas 2007, when this was his present to me.

Of course, getting a Christmas present is one thing–but sometimes figuring out what to do with it can be difficult.  True, for someone  my age (I was 75 on November 20, 2008) the whole idea of blogging can be terrifying–but it was an intriguing thought and something John has been bugging me about for years.   He says it will be easier than sending out my occasional mass emails–but I think I’ll probably have to do both.

John is being very helpful.  He comes out to visit several times a month and gives me advice, tutorials, and encouragement…straightens out problems…fixes things…and tries to help me understand the “semantics” of WordPress–a blogsite he says is especially user-friendly.  This user is still somewhat confused, but I hope I will eventually be able to use this effectively.

What I intend to do is share thoughts, writing, memories, music, recipes, and whatever else occurs to me.  There may be news…political commentary…satire…and some links to sites of interest.

So here it is.  Let me know what you think!



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