AN OPEN LETTER
Dear Governor Christie and DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa:
There must be something wrong with our State Administration when a mid level bureaucrat can threaten to punish a municipality's "legislative branch' (The Common Council) for appealing to the State for help to remedy an intolerable situation.
The City Of Plainfield has been without a CFO for most of the present Mayor's 5 years in office. There has been no sincere effort to find a qualified individual whose appointment by the Mayor is subject to "Consultation and Approval" by the Council.
In the past 12 months in response to pressure mostly from DLGS, the two individuals the Mayor proposed included one who had no experience in the position and the other refused to give the Council requested information. Naturally, a responsible Council doing its due diligence could not approve either one.
After three (3) 90 days ultimatums for the Mayor to fill the post had expired without any action, in April this year the Council as a last resort petition the DLGS director to recommend, even appoint, a temporary qualified CFO to hold office until the City could find a permanent one.
There had been no response from the State so after citizen's repeated queries what was happening, a councilman contacted DLGS and after first being told there was no record of Plainfield'd communication was later informed it had been found. A promised reply within a week was never received until Oct.28.
Newly installed state Division of Local Government Services Director Thomas N. Neff warned this week that the mayor and all members of the Council that if the position was not filled in 30 days each individual would be fined $25.00 a day.
How can a member of your Government find reason to fine those who have petitioned for help as if they were guilty of a fault? How can a bureaucrat arbitrarily make it a crime for a local government body to do its fiduciary responsibility? If Director Neff demands are followed, the Council's right to reject an appointee they know is not qualified has been nullified.
No wonder New Jersey politics and reputation as the "Soprano State" has made it the laughing stock of the country, but it now is apparently being transformed from a Democracy to Totalitarian State.
I as a citizen am asking you to immediately counteract this injustice being forced on the members of the Council and the people of Plainfield.