- (1) the Budget Process,
- (2) Planning and Economic Redevelopment and
- (3) IT development
In an email to me Councilor Burney wrote " The main issues facing this city are:
- budgetary - a priority of services needed
- a severe deficit in new revenues (to offset organic budgetary growth)
- crime - continues to exceed the national average in virtually all areas
- schools - continue to under perform by most standards
- organizational strategic focus
I have been advocating a broad multi-sourced commission to review the City's Codes, and Ordinances which create the local laws under which we function(?) plus a review of Planifield's government organizational structure. This commission should have defined charges giving it authority to recommend, and ideally produce initial drafts of new ordinances and codes for presentation. It also should be charged with making a complete analysis of the present dysfunctional city administrative organization with a blueprint for a working model.
There will need not only interaction with the present "Citizen Advisory Committees", but an honest commitment from all factions of the city government..
Both Plainfield Today and "Plainfield Plaintalker" blogs have reported in detail some actions during the past 4 or 5 years that not only facilitated the Connolly disaster, but has open the way for illegal small residency violations.
Budgetary recommendations for the present year should show a shift in focus from any inefficient department to strengthening those that will improve the city. If any reductions and/or increased line items appear that will improve Plainfield There will be no serious grumbling about increases.
Revenue deficits can only be addressed by increased taxation on taxable properties. That also means that a complete review of all tax exempt and tax abatement properties should be done immediately to recover lost revenues. Income producing properties owned by not-for-profits or charitable entities should not be entitled for a free ride.
Institutional homes, for which the city has been the county dumping ground for decades,are an excessive burden on Fire and Police resources, and now will be more so on Rescue Squads with the loss of the hospital. There must be somewheres county, state, federal or foundation funds available to help defray some of these costs.
Above all transparency should be an actuality not a buzz word. The "I will get back to you" is unacceptable. Any and all answers must be made available to all. The City's Internet site should be used and could be for the benefit of the community.