Wednesday, September 8, 2010

COUNCIL #2 sEPT. 7

Councilman Burney's indignation at the exposure of the $20,000.00 bill paid to the radio station to broadcast a public meeting called by the Mayor is justified. So are the questions raised by other Council members. It is likely that next Monday a Resolution will be introduced to investigate the matter. The scope of that meeting could be extended to question use of other line monies for services that do not appear to be related to the intent of the original budget.

The Council does have power according to the City Charter;quote

2.8 Investigations; removals

  • The council may make investigations into the affairs of the city and the conduct of any city department, office, commission or agency and for this purpose, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the full production of evidence. In addition to any other remedy, any person who willfully fails or refuses to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the council shall be adjudged a disorderly person, punishable by a fine of not more them $200.00, or by imprisonment for not more then 30 days or both.

  • Council may remove any officer or employee, other then the mayor or a councilman, for cause, upon notice and an opportunity to be heard.

The question is who will supply legal advice to the Council? Will a special attorney be needed to fill that role if it is deemed that there might be a conflict of interest by the Corporation Counsel?

In a similar vein Counsilor Mapp's finance Committee report included his recommendation of a "forensic audit". In view of the lack of either at CFO and/or Director of Administration and Finance over the past few years, and with ongoing questions the idea is a good one. Will the Council have the guts to order one?

The PMUA was supposed to give a report and answer some questions but again announced that they were too busy to at tend. Chairman Mitchell wrote that data requested by the Council would be submitted by September 24 and the Commissioners would better be able to meet with the Council in Nov..

Inspection Divisions Directer Turk reported on the city's efforts to enforce corrections of code violations. There are numerous legal roadblocks and if the property owner has filed for bankruptcy it is an impossibility. It would seem that some problems could be solved if the pertinent codes were reviewed and rewritten to be effective in theses times. Make the Ordinances have teeth.

At midnight citizen Allan Goldstein questioned the correctness of the 250000 contract awarded to the"incubator". He noted hast mandates i n the State regulations were not followed. That the vendor had no experience in the field of job training. He also noted that the RFP was so written that it would discourage legitimate vendors. He also pointed out other deficincies which were overlooked. Despite City Administrator Taylor's assurance that the process had met all State requirements there seems to be enough abnormalities that the Council should revisit their positive vote.

4 comments:

  1. Doc:

    Citizen Goldstein is absolutely correct regarding the "Icubator" grant. I knew, if anyone did any due dilegence on this matter, the truth would come to light. I only hope the Council has the decency to ensure that this grant is not funded due to the underhanded way in which it was rewarded.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Doc, as a means of clarification, Federal and State law mandates that only Approved Eligible Training Providers are eligible to receive job training funds. The City Administrator has countered that CSBG funds are not job training funds so the City doesn't need to abide by laws related to US Title 29- The Workforce Investment Act, or State law C34:15C-10.2 that establishes the State's Eligible Training Provider List and precludes the use of unapproved vendors. Needless to say, the Workforce Investment Act (Section 121b:1Bx)specifically includes "employment and training activities carried out under the Community Services Block Grant Act".

    The Administration and the City Council are out about as far on a limb as you can go with this. Aside from the points of law referenced above, from conversations I have had with numerous individuals, the RFQ looks like it was designed to dissuade legitimate vendors from bidding, while the entire grant looks to have been sliced and diced to enable profiteering off funds intended for Plainfield's neediest residents.

    If the City Council is desirous of an investigation into the affairs of the city, this would be a better place to start than the indignant posturing over WBLS. About ten times better.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's good to see that Burney's mind is out of the gutter, (curbs in Netherwood) and he is indignent about something! Someone should ask him how the Rescue Squad fund raising drive is going under his buddy Jeff! I wonder just how close those two really are!

    Bigdog

    ReplyDelete