Friday, October 15, 2010

POTPOURRI FRIDAY OCT. 15.

It is a good thing that there is no Council meeting this week with Bernice  off to the great Northwest, Since Tuesday's marathon was so long the CN had little or nothing relating to the meeting and the Ledger's reporter was elsewhere. But all was not lost. Mark in his  new blog " http://plainfield.injersey.com/" (paste it} has at least three long articles relating to that meeting. (Note: Dan, include it in your guide in Clips).

To have good reporting present at meetings removes a burden from those of us who never learned shorthand, or were court stenographers. Too often we amateurs may miss or not hear some important  conversation or action. Never the less print copies are easier to archive  for retrieval.

As I have previously noted, I had left the meeting shortly after the verbal encounter between the Mayor and The Council President. When the Mayor claimed she represented 50,000 residents that may be true but she does not speak for that many. In fact she received less than 50% of the vote in the primary that counts.

This raises a greater question. Should an election where a  the overwhelming majority fail to vote or should in Ordinance or State or National statue be ruled in valid, 15% of the eligible voters select the membership  of the BOE. In a one party town unless it is a Presidential election year participation by 50% of registered voters is often  not the case.

I would suggest that in at least the School Board election a floor of 30% be the rule although it should be for those elections and all others at least50%. If the school board elections fail ti meet such a goal then it should be held concurrent with the November general elections.

If Democracy is to be successful there has to be significant electoral participation.

Back to the Council meeting; At the Public Comment time on Resolutions and First reading of Ordinances, I raise questions on R385-10 which authorized payment of $145,156.67 to the contractor who defaulted on the Kennsington Ave repavement as well as $33,000 to the Engineering firm that Administration awards all contracts to for oversight work. I could not see  justification for payment  for work that was never even near to completion. Since there was an unconfirmed 3rd person report that at least on Ever green Ave this contractor had sealed over water shut off valves to residents, something a conscientious engineering firm should not have allowed, why did either merit receiving taxpayer's money? There was no answer to my question/objection.I understand when that Resolution came up for vote only Councilor Mapp objected and  voted NO.

I am one of the sensible ones who agreed with Governor Christie in stopping the expensive New York tunnel project. Not that there is no need for  a tunnel but this one is basically a wrong boondoggle where as the original proposition for connection too Penn Station with additional platforms and pass through under the East River is sensible and  now the Feds and Amtrak propose  to build. Christie's goal is that tunnel which will be less expensive and more practical and equally beneficial to the Raritan Valley Line municipalities.

Of course there will be the usual anonymous blog blasters for this  position. We do post 99.99%  although it would be nice  if we knew that the writers were people not died in the wool party hackers.

6 comments:

  1. "When the Mayor claimed she represented 50,000 residents that may be true but she does not speak for that many"

    I think you are wrong. The Mayor should speak for 50,000. Do 50,000 not want lower crime? Do 50,000 not want taxes contained? Do 50,000 not want better roads?

    Tsk, tsk.

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  2. Hey Doc! I DO have Mark's Courier mini-website in the CLIPS list (it is third under the 'NEWS' heading, just before the Courier's link.

    Mark and I had a conversation about what to call the link and that was his suggestion.

    Do you think it would be clearer if called something else? Suggestion?

    Thanks!

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  3. Well, in some countries they have solved the problem by making it illegal not to register and illegal not to vote.

    If you want other democratic alternatives, I suggest you look at the writings of Prof. Lani Guinier of Harvard Law School. In particular 'The Tyranny of the Majority' where she provides alternative voting systems aimed at giving minorities greater representation.

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  4. Susan Lattimore JacksonOctober 16, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    Doc:

    You and everyone else seems to understand that having meetings which last until after midnight is not fair to the general population. Common sense dictates that the old format was correct and those that were elected to serve the public should do just that and let the Citizen's of Plainfield be involved in the governing bodies deliberations with bi-monthly meetings.

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  5. read the paper...they are moving to an additional agenda fixing meeting.

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  6. Hey Dan,why not have Mark call it Lost in LaLa Land or the Culture of Corruption . . .

    ReplyDelete