Wednesday, October 14, 2009

COUNCIL MEETING 10/13/09

One more time, what did not occur at this meeting was more important than what did. For a lucid report read Plaintalker. Mine will be rambling since it is late and I was bewildered by some of the Administration's responses to Council questions.

For beginners, the introduction of the 2010 budget due July 1,2009 was not on the Agenda. City Administrator Dashield announced that it would be ready for the November meeting. Since we have been hearing this refrain for months now the council approved of a temporary budget appropriation for November.

But I get ahead of myself. The first action was approval of the minutes of the executive committee meeting and the Special Meeting. After they were approved Councilor Mapp objected to the approval of the executive committee meeting stating that there had been non meeting because he had not voted to approve it and it took a 2/3 vote of the Council to hold one and that vote was not present. He moved that the material discussed at the non meeting be appended to the minutes of the Special meeting which was then voted and approved.

At the public session it was pointed out that either there was no Executive Meeting or if convened and there was insufficient attendance then those minutes should note that for lack of quorum the meeting was not held. As to appending any discussion that took place in the non executives session as part of the Special Meeting Minutes it was pointed out that there might be a violation of the Sunshine Laws because the public were not permitted to partake in that meeting and the matter of minutes should be revisited.

If that was not confusing two Resolutions allotting funds for the defence of Police personal were withdrawn when Councilman Mapp pointed out that the certificate of available funds was signed by the Director of Administration and Finance and not as required by law by the CFO. Dashield stated that in the absence of a CFO the Director was acting in that Capacity. Mapp pointed out that the CFO or a temporary CFO had to be approved by the Council upon the mayor's recommendation. Dashield's explanation that the mayor had approved of Director assuming the responsibilities of the CFO. The consensus was that was an improper action so those two resolutions had to be withdrawn.

What is more remarkable and had not been questioned prior to tonight , that there has been no CFO for over a year and since last December and last years budget fiasco Dasheild has been acting as Director of Administration and Finance until the recent appointment of Ms. Taylor. Without a CFO he must also have assumed that role.

Also withdrawn from action was a resolution for the application and use of grant funds for various recreation department supported youth sports. There was question of the grant applications contents which Administration only gave vague answers instead of specifics, and also the intended distribution of the funds.

The Ordinance to exceed the SFY 2010 Municipal Budget Appropriations limit and establish a "Cap Bank" failed b y a 4;1 vote, a 2/3rd majority of Council Members or 5 votes were needed by law.

Dashield then complained that without this Ordinance he will have to go back and redo the budget which is not ready for presentation. He also intimated that this would have a negative impact on the States Extraordinary Grants. On questioning he noted that the city's request was due on Oct.13,2009 and he had sent in a sheet based on the passage of the failed Ordinance.

That led to a discussion on how could such a request be sent in without the Councils knowledge since it required their tacit approval upon acceptance of the budget presentation. If the city was given special permission to submit a preliminary request that too should have been approved by the Council. Ultimately Dashield under Council pressure agreed to submit a confidential copy for their review. Why is it being hidden from the public? (Syntax corrections made at 9:50 AM)

What was done will wait to the next post.

The Council deserves credit for its vigilance and question vague resolutions introduced by Administration as well as not accepting potential "shady" improvisations by Administration. If the Council had been asked to approve That The Director of Administration and Finance be certified as Temporary CFO I ma sure that would have been done without question.

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5 comments:

  1. Doc, I would hold off on congratulating the council. Where was the other two councilmen? How can you run a government when you cant even get 5 councilperson together? We had the same situation last week.

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  2. 8:20 Point well taken. I am assuming that Reid was not well only because his name plate was not on the table so his absence was expected.
    The only Council action that depended on the number present was the Ordinance vote, an dit would have passed if Councilman Storch had not voted against it. He deserves credit since the improper action of the Administration of sending a budget item to the state would have never surfaced until Dashield made his comments.

    Can we trust this administration?

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  3. I am glad the council members at the meeting were on the ball and doing their job. I had to work, so was unable to attend. I know I am mad as hell that we have to constantly put up with a shady mayor and administration. I hope the voters of Plainfield see this and dump Sharon in November.

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  4. So what you're saying is that the extraordinary aid application was due yesterday, 10/13/09, and Dashield sent in a request to the state BEFORE the ordinance was even brought to the council table?? Isn't this ILLEGAL?? Isn't this sending in altered and FALSIFIED data to the state? If the state receives it, isn't this an example of falsified data? The city council should bring charges against Dashield for willfully LYING on the application. The "negative impact" he refers to isn't that the council refused to approve this ordinance, but that HE falsified and sent illegal information to the state on an ordinance that doesn't exist. The state certainly will not look kindly upon illegal, falsified requests for aid! This is more evidence of this administration's corrupt activities. I think the administration ought to fire Mr. Dashield, or the city council needs to bring action against him for this possibly criminal breach. I may bring charges myself.

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  5. 11:30 With all respect due I can not jump to conclusions since due to the convoluted explainations I could have had an erroneous interpretation.
    That said I think that (a) the Corporation Counsel should publish a public opinion if there is any question of legality, and (2) The City Administrator needs to make public exactly what he was trying to tell the Council.

    If they wish to use my blog as media I will post their comments unedited as a separate posting.

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