Most perceptions results from comments made at the Council sessions. Unfortunately, Council committee deliberations and City departmental reports are not publicised. The annual auditors recommendations may be relayed to the Council, but too often there seems to be a repetition of deficiencies that have not been corrected. Too often recommendations for better control are honored by ignoring.
This blog was to be an attempt to clear up questions raised by Plainfield Today, Jerry Greens Page, Plainfield Plaintalker, and this blogger. I have stated that too often I do not have facts, thus what I write is opinion based on my community related activity the last 60 years. Plainfield Plaintalker is a newspaper professional column reporting facts not hearsay.
Of recent postings in the other two, Plainfield Today gave a false impression in its recent comments implying that this city had failed to meet the deadline that 132 other NJ municipalities by not submitting its application for funds from the "Federal Stimulus Package".
The document referred to was actually a request from the NJLM, This I believe was intended only for informational purposes.
Jerry Green wrote "As part of leadership here in the State of New Jersey, I have been allowed opportunities to first-hand, deal with the governor’s office on what impact the federal stimulus package will have on the State of New Jersey. I find it very surprising when no one at this particular time has been told, including Governor Corzine, exactly how these funds can be used, and what they can be used for. So when I read people guessing about what the plan happens to be, it is very misleading to the public."
He is correct but again he is taking credit for political influence he does not enjoy. The truth is no one knows anything about the package except that the House of Representatives have just passed their version by a strictly party line vote except for Pennsylvania Republicans. The Senate at the time I wrote this had not passed its version and then there will have to be adjustments made so that the two bills agree before it can be submitted to the President for approval. The earliest is expected to be mid February.
The reality is that the "Federal Stimulus Package" can not impact on Plainfield's Budgetary process. The excuse that the delay is due to the fact that the state has delayed its determination for "Extraordinary Aid" is fallacious. Extraordinary aid not only should not but can not be included in the budget. Its impact can only result in a legally amended budget. This is directly from the state Department of Community Affairs release 2009-2.
"In addition, the governing body may adopt a resolution to increase its temporary budget appropriation to the extended adoption date of the 2009 budget; from February 25 for counties, or from March 20 for municipalities. This resolution must be adopted by February 28. If additional appropriations are needed prior to the adoption of the budget, the local unit may adopt an emergency temporary appropriation pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:4-20. Extraordinary Aid applications will be due in the Division’s office by March 20, 2009. A separate Local Finance Notice on Extraordinary Aid Applications will be issued in several weeks."
The hard facts remain; the $1.6 million error in the proposed budget submitted to the state has made it impossible to arrive at a workable budget. The city has now used the vehicle of resolutions approving temporary budgets for 10/12s of this budget year. Legal but not honest. If and when a budget can be approved there will be no wiggle room. Moreover, the 2010 budget process is supposed to start in May for presentation by July 1, 2009.
Because of the length of this blog I will postpone consideration of the " Pension Payment Defferal Plan" until the next posting.