Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PMUA REPORT

The PMUA Task Force Committee presented its report Monday night to the public and to the five members of the Council present at the Council's Special Meeting. Councilors Reid and Rivers who have repeatedly supported the PMUA commissioners and the Mayor were absent.

Assemblyman Green was present and addressed the Council during the public Comment period. Also in the audience were three PMUA Commisioners; Dunn, and Sanders who negotiated the deal with Watson and Ervin as well as Rev Tracy Brown, the Mayor's minister.

Sitting quietly in a wheel chair in the front was Plainfield's DAN DAMMON. Welcome back Dan.

Rather then go into detail; I will note that the Committee's report was based on the past five years of the PMUA's operations and was damning. There was focus on the lack of transparency and accountability

Among figures given were comparison with New Brunswick and Union Township both municipalities of comparable size with Plainfield. They compared budget figures for solid Waste Sewers and employees.. It should be noted that other cities have the PMUA's job carried out by their Dept of Public Works. The Numbers;

City------------ Sewer------ Waste------- # Employees
Plainfield -------10.3 mil---- 12.1 mil ---------171 (31 in DPW)
New Brunswick- 10 mil.* ----4.0 mil----------- 84
Union TWSHP --5.2 mil----- 3.4 mil----------- 76


Naturally the ratepayers costs will be about 3 times that in the other two cites.

They also noted that Watson's and Ervin's compensation together was almost 4 times that of the New Brunswick's Director of DPW.

AS to the two $275,000.oo0 terminal payments and the total $1,ooo.000 "settlement" the committee read the terms of the two's contracts and since they resigned and were not terminated without cause they are specifically not entitled to one cent.

The Committee in its recomendations gave three choices; Fix the PMUA, Disolve it, or Do nothing. The best course of action would be to dissolve the PMUA which the Council could do if there were 5 votes, However it is apparent that the two missin g Councilors would not vote in favor and Grieves track record indicates that she would follow their lead.

Another recommendation was a Fiscal and Forensic Audit of the books. As Bob Darden pointed out during the Public Comment session the city's fiances over the past 6 years should also be subject to a Forensic Audit. Phylis Mason had tried to arrange for one years ago but since the Council or the Mayor had to agree to it there never has been one done.

Assemblyman Green as a good Democrat warned against having a Republican Governor
become in the City's affairs.

One thought; If as some of the Councilors feel that there never would be enough votes to dissolve the PMUA or to give the Council over see powers, perhaps a referendum on the General or even Primary ballot requesting dissolution might accomplish the needed change.

After I left there was a "straw vote" by the Councilors on disalusion of the PMUA. There were 4 in favor and one (1 +2absent= 3) for "fixing.

Tonight at Cedarbrook School (7PM) the Town hall meeting about JFK's plans for 600 apartments and a strip shopping mall.

* I am not sure of this number

3 comments:

  1. The Council acknowledges their is waste and mismanagement. The very people inside the PMUA acknowledge there has been some serious issues with costs and mismanagement. Our local Assembly Leader acknowledges the waste and mismanagement at the PMUA. The Citizens acknowledge their has been waste and mismanagement at the PMUA.
    What will be done?? Mmmmm lets use history as our guide...shall we?
    The Members of the City Council will beat it like a dead horse until after the next election.
    Jerry Green will continue to denounce having anyone from Governor Christie's office look into the PMUA.
    The Mayor will continue to deflect anything regarding fiscal responsibility for ANY portion of the city of Plainfield.
    The citizens of Plainfield will bemoan the situation over and over and then vote everyone of the people responsible for managing their governmental fiscal affairs back into office after they all collectively DO NOTHING.
    There...now lets just accept nothing will change regarding the PMUA because there isn't one leader in city or local state government willing to either expose the abuses and resolve them or willing to have their dirty laundry involving the PMUA brought to light.

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  2. The task force gave us three choice. Dissolve, fix or do nothing.

    Were there ever any other choices?

    Why did we need a committee to tell us this? Did our Council members not know this?

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