Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BOE MEETING

Am I happy that my gut feeling was not to try to go to last night's BOE meeting.After seeing the posted agenda that which I feared would occur proved correct. I am not sure if the BOE's rules of order for public meetings provide for a period of public comments or if any rules exists. Perhaps like thew Council they should be published.
Any civil body that schedules meetings for the 6 t0 6:30 pm slots is brandishing its contempt for the public that created it. Traditionally in urban, and suburban America those are the hours for the family's one get together at a meal.

The rational for those meeting hours is of course to reduce public participation and scrutiny. To advertise a public meeting and agenda and to go into an immediate hours long closed executive session and then after 2 1/2 and immediately adjourn without an explanation to the public or allowing the opportunity of public comment is disgraceful.

It is obvious that there is a critical matter which will impact upon Plainfield's education system and if ant rumors are valid will also result in the needless loss of taxpayers' dollars that might be put to students benefit.

Plainfield does not need this BOE which has continued to show a lack of fiduciary responsibility to those who elected it. Whether all the members of this board know their responsibilities and roles as the Plainfield Citizen's overseers of our children's education is extremely doubtful.

The Board must at once issue a public statement clarifying what problems are of such serious nature that emergency meetings and long executive sessions are required.

I have long been an advocate, yea even a lone voice crying into the wind, for an appointed board. This latest fiasco has reinforced my impression of our need.

I know that many in this community fear the appointment of a responsible authority or board by the present administration. This is justifiably so if one examines the past 4 years track record. However, under this system the 'buck stops at the Mayor's desk, or can be traced directly to the local political boss.

There are other forms of BOEs that could be permitted under NJ laws; perhaps a small 8 membership 50% elected and 50% appointed would be a workable compromise. Whatever happens would take a charter change force by active public pressure.

The Governors and Administrators of the PMUA, the other city "Authority", have also been continuously also guilty of similar mockery of the public that pays its salaries. The inconvenient scheduling of public meetings and the frequent cancelling and rescheduling is designed to keep the public uninformed. In this Authority the Board of Governors projects a role as acting as the agents of their own employees.

The burden on Plainfield taxpayers is not only limited to the "City's Budget" but also to the operations of these two independent "authorities", the BOE and PMUA. All three including Administration, must be held accountable.

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