Tuesday, March 8, 2011

COUNCIL MEETING #2

Monday night's Council session has been forced to take a subordinate position in today's news.
However although this was a working session not an action taking meeting that which transpired during the course of the meeting had an importance that will continue to impact on the city and its residents.

Union County Board of Elections Administrator ;Dennis Kobitz explanation of the Congressional and State redistricting process based on registered voters and the city ward and districts configurations based on residents-the 1 voter 1 representative format was informative. Because of time restraints, there will be no impact on local elections for the June primary. All 4 Wards must be equal i the number\ of residents with a 10% leeway. That is 5% more or less than the median. The districts will be redrawn after the ward configuration is decided. They are based on voters and any present district that has had less than 250 voters the past two years will be absorbed into other districts. It is the ward vote that counts.

Of the Mayor's recommendations for appointments to authorities, commissions, and committees the recommendation to appoint two "Constables" was deferred for further consideration. There seemed to be confusion as to what the duties of a " Constable" was and who made the appointment. It may be that it belongs to the Sheriff's office and thus the County would make any appointments. There seems not to have been anyone in that role for years.

Without question, the best most important innovation in the format of the Agenda Setting Session
is the inclusion of a public commentary period before the Council starts its consideration of resolutions and ordinances to be included in nest Monday's business agenda.

Since one of the subjects will be action on the Mayor's veto of the Ordinance creating a Recreation Commission there were the usual and some new shills for preserving the position of Recreation Superintendent. Unfortunately one became vituperative when the Council president reminded him that he had exceeded his allotted time and loudly blasted the Council's "New Democrats" for another 3 minutes. During the meeting he had sat next to the Mayor and has been a constant defender of the status quo. This observer has no knowledge of what his relationship is to the Recreation department is but hew as one of the organizers of the Recreation sponsored baseball league that opposed the existing volunteer Queen City Baseball League.

Council President McWilliams tried to explain that no one was being "fired" but that a Commission was being formed and would have to appointed a director who would coordinate all recreation activities from youth athletics to Senior Citizen's programs. Funding for activities has not been reduced in the new budget. What may change is the programs' administrator and the focus away from youth outdoor sports.

Just a thought; would it be practical to adapt the armory into a multipurpose recreational facility that could offer youth groups as well as adult interests meeting space and indoor youth recreational activities including basketball as well perhaps a revival of the old rollerskating rink?

Question, are the school gymnasium available to the Recreation Division for Basketball leagues?

The Mayor explained that she had vetoed the "Commission" Ordinance because there were legal irregularities present. Since Ordinances are either drawn up or reviewed prior to presentation by the Corporation Counsel it would be interesting to learn what language is illegal. There may be a possibility that on this issue one of her usual Council Supporters who has expressed a great deal of concern over the failures of the present setup to adequately provide for the youth will vote to override the veto. 5 votes are needed. at present there are 4 sure.

1 comment:

  1. This is the second time I have heard people attack the New Dems at a personal level. These attacks were rude, uncalled for and had not one iota of facts in the shrill comments. Only personal attacks. Are these people also upset with Obama who called himself a Democrat for Change and not just a Democrat?

    New Dems are Democrats. These Democrats do not go along with the status quo who appear to leave their brains at the door. New Democrats are thinking individuals who want better for Plainfield. After all, haven't the Democrats been in charge of Plainfield for the majority of years after the 60s? Seems to me they haven't done so well for Plainfield.

    If being a New Democrat means that issues are addressed instead of personal insults, that rude behaviour is not tolerated, that respect for our fellow citizens is in the forefront of how they communicate, then count me in!

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