Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Plaintalker II's post this morning is devoted in detail to the Lampkin House issue. There is little that I can add at this point except to  note that the protagonists were emotional  in their remarks whereas the antagonist were practical. The City does not have funds to preserve its history. Thus the Council decided not to place that item on  next Monday's voting agenda.

It would be of interest to know how many dollars have been wasted over the last decade. What projects have started and never finished. Certainly the lack of responsible fiscal control officers and the lack of enforcement of  purchasing policy must have led to waste.

I need not refer to the condition of our streets and the fact that equipment purchased several years ago to help maintain them have at best only be used minimally. This is a reflection on the lack of authoritative leadership of the Department of Public Works. 

Even now with the presence of a CFO in situ a Resolution permitting the transfer of unspent funds to pay a bill of the recreation commission for the purchase of uniforms in April 2011 will be on Monday's agenda. Once again that  division acting as an independent fief disregarded the  requirement that all purchases must come through the purchasing  office..

What I had anticipated as a highlight of last night's meeting. Public Affairs and Safety Director Hellwig's Public Safety update report  turned out to be a dud. As in newspaper reports we learned that two recent major crimes, a homicide and a gunshot firing at a playground are being investigated. The Union County Homicide Task Force as a suspect in the homicide, and the shooter is still unknown.\.

Unanswered is the question of Plainfield's capabilities in crime prevention. This is important because of a $250,000.00 State grant for technical equipment upgrade to fight crime, once again a R4solution to enter into a contract with "ShotSpotter" will be on the agenda. It has been clarified that the Grant is contingent on money being spent and a paid bill being submitted. 

Could ShotSpotter prevented either crime? Probably not but it might have prevented such an incident that former Councilwoman Hollis reported  of a police unit responding to a report of a disturbance in the projects on West 3rd St. appearing ready for action at a West 4th St. unit.

Director Hellwig remarked that the ShotSpotter can help prosecutors (post fact) by being able to determine when there are multiple weapons being used which gun fired what shot in what sequence. I trust he has given proof of such sophistication to the members of the Council before they vote to approve.



  1. We have had much money wasted in Plainfield and much of it during this administration. That doesn't impact the fact that we don't have the money for this project now and Shot Spotter may not be worth the cost to the city. I'm glad we have a City Council that is somewhat fiscally responsible and logical. We are broke and the current affairs in the financial market don't make me feel positive about our immediate future. I'd feel better if we had a brighter and more responsible administration, but the reality is that we don't. So we have to act under the pressure of reality.

  2. There have been nothing but lies and improprieties surrounding the recreation baseball league. First they had Jennifer Wenson Maier out right lie and say there wasn't going to be a league after the Council said there should only be one if the need arose. Then it was said no funds would be coming from the City to support the league recreation insisted on creating. Now there's a bill that they are expecting the taxpayers to pay when there was already a volunteer league in place.
    Just goes to show you all they have to do is lie and put whatever they want thru later down the road.

  3. I agree with Bob. Why is the Shotspotter program being pushed so hard by the administration? Just about everyone has a cell phone and will report any sounds of gunfire. Will we need a person to monitor the program and then send a response? The time lag would be the same as citizen reporting?

    Is anyone asking those questions?

  4. 6:01pm: I did not post your comment because the conflict between QDBL and Recreation is not relevant to this post. What is important is that purchases were made and billed to the city without going through channels.

    Tom. the questions have been asked. Council was supposed to receive reports from city's that have installed the system. Councilors have been supplied with an "independent" study commissioned by the vendor. I have not read it but take it for what it is worth

  5. When the city the baseball league started they stated more than one time that it was being funded through grants and sponsorships. I think it is appalling that the administration would take funds from the seniors for rec. This is a good reason to let go the superintendent now if any since he does not follow business etiquette protocols that have been put in place for many of years. The city league has asked each parent to fundraise $100 and lets not talk about the number of other fundraisers that have put on....I believe their fundraising money should be allotted to their bill and the rest taken out of the superintendent's paycheck. Again, I can't believe you would even THINK about taking from the seniors.

    Olldoc and again the comment you mentioned saying it was irrelevant it is very well so, because it shows how we got to this point. Please release the earlier comment I would love to see it. If the Recreation Committee was put in place we would not being through this situation right now uhmmmmmmm

  6. 7:53 AM;Irrelevant because the comment was focused in the Recreation /QCBL dispute. (2) I have expressed my opinion on letting division heads make purchases without going through control procedures. There may be no mal-intent but there is a process in place to prevent fraud and it must be enforced. That would mean that those that violate it should be subject to disciplinary action.

  7. Anon 3:12 PM. Let us get something straight. You wrote "How can you say this story has nothing to do with the other baseball league?". I never made such a comment. I wrote that the issue before the Council was unauthorized purchases as prescribed in procedures. The conflict between QCBL and Recreation was not the subject of the blog.

    My blog and others can not be turned into sounding boards for complaints by anonymous writers.

  8. I owe you 2 apologies. One because I attributed a statement to you that I read on one of the comments and 2 because I mistakenly selected anonymous. My name is Pat. Other than that I stand by my comments whether you print them or not. Hopefully, time will tell.

  9. Pat;, No apology needed.You do understand why I chose not to post some of your comments. There i a problem that has not been addressed by administration and may not be.