Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Well it did not snow until long after the combined meeting(s) that I decided not to attend were over.
Since there was no Dan “Clips” posted today; perhaps the 2 inches of snow had an impact, and TAPinto Plainfield did not carry any article by Bernice I can suspect that I missed nothing except a rubber stamp.
As I wrote and others commented that there were items on the agenda that merited at least questions from the Council and clarification from administration .I suspect that neither happened and the raid on the taxpayers’ monetary well continued unabated.
It has been a month shy of a decade since I started writing this blog daily. Its focus has changed somewhat in the recent years with less content on memorabilia and of late much more on the “unstate” of the nation. I have continued to express opinions on local governance. Writing a blog takes time often more than an hour.
Moreover, there seems little reader interest in how and why the powers that be are disposing of contracts and spreading patronage. I still am awaiting for an explanation of how a bill for 70K from a contractor who had no experience and bungled the job received Council approval for a $130+K settlement. Council’s claim that it could not be discussed because it was in litigation doesn’t cut the mustard.
This explains why unless there is an expression of reader desire to read my blog I will only post at least once a week on topics that are of interest to me. Please comment with identity, not anonymously.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
This is the day after the day honoring the black nonviolent civil rights leader MLK. We may have come a long way in 50 years as far as civil rights are concerned including electing and reelecting a black President. But we do not seem to be much better off, if any, when it comes to religious or racial bigotry.
We talk about “White Racism” which unfortunately is prevalent in various degrees nationwide but most open not only in the old Civil War States but in the Red Neck Bible Belt. We seem to ignore “Black Racism” which sadly is very strong in the urban areas throughout the country. And not spoken about is those against the “Yellow Menace” which includes not only Eastern and South-eastern Asians but also Hindu Indians. Yes Racism is not a one way street.
We also turn our back on religious bigotry and hate of both whites and blacks. Anti-Semitism, anti-muslimism as well as that by WASPS against Catholics is too common. Too often fermented from the pulpit.
Before blasting Trump who deserves every bit; we should judge our self. Can each one honestly say he/she has none of those faults? If we do, do we try to repress them?
Regarding POTUS. He is a racists, a conniver, a liar, a manipulator and an egotist and not above vulgarity. But above all he is NOT CRAZY. Everything he does has a motive behind it. He may seem to contradict himself but he does so to disorganize those who disagree with him and thus achieve his ends.
Trump’s danger is that he can destroy our form of democracy with its civil liberties.
I can suggest reading these from the Washington Post.
Monday, January 15, 2018
A combined Council meeting is on the docket for Tuesday night. The threat of snow and extreme cold will most likely keep this near centenarian who doesn’t bounce well at home. However once again a combined meeting cuts down the Councilor’s chance to explore in detail, if they are to fulfill their charge, items on the agenda.
For instance they will approve approximately 360K approved legal firm retainers varying in amounts from 5K to 65K to 15 different firms. History has shown by midyear additional funds will be approved. What was the total legal fees in 2017 including Corporation Counsel?
Councilor Tolliver will be happy to note that there is a resolution authorizing 130K for the updating the firehouse “bathrooms”. This bid was the lowest received.
They will adopt a Resolution authorizing renewal of a contract with Aetna, and its Third Party Administrator, the Difference Card, to provide employee and retiree group medical and prescription drug coverage and administration This is a big item on the budget; the cost associated with the annual premium for active employee and retiree medical and prescription coverage for the duration of the contract is estimated at $13,473,985.68 (which also includes the employee contribution).Another item is the rejection of a bid for the sale of the property at 216 Front St.; “the bid submitted for 216-18 West Front Street, Block 249 Lot 5 is being rejected because the contiguous owner was not the successful bidder” Will the property be sold to the “contiguous owner” at a lower price and if so how much less is the city getting and why?
Resolution 069-18 is to approve “Qualified Vendors and Service Providers in Accordance with Plainfield Municipal Code Section 2:10-18 (Public Works Services). There is a large list including ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES, BOARD CERTIFIED MASTER ARBORIST TREE EXPERT, ENGINEERING SERVICES, PROFESSIONAL PLANNING SERVICES, PROFESSIONAL PLANNING AND REDEVELOPMENT, and CONSULTING SERVICES.
There is a large list of approved vendors in most categories, how they will be selected is unclear. By pay for play?
This agenda has many items that a responsible Council might question or at least get some answers; how in today’s dollars do our legal costs the last time we had full time Corporation Counsel compare with those this past year? The same question about Engineering; was a rounded full time engineer versus today’s outsourcing? That is only two.