Thursday, June 14, 2012
CONCERNING THE BERRY LETTERS
“The City of Plainfield has a history of having to face significant financial challenges.
The Administration has attempted to adjust to changing times to meet those challenges. lt has been our hope that the majority in the City Council work in cooperation with us to achieve the goal of financial responsibility.--------------------------------------------------
Clearly the majority of the City Council is attempting to mortgage the future of the City instead of being prudent with surplus funds to guard against future fiscal crises. We are of the opinion that the majority of the Council is seeking to draw down on this surplus as a short term political strategy”
These are the words of City Administrator Eric Berry in one of three letters written Tuesday June 12.2012 to Jorge Carmona of the State’s Division of Local Government Services which has the responsibility to review for errors and approve municipal budgets that meet the State’s standards.
These letters of complaint were written for the Administration
who submitted by a City Administrator who had minimal input if any in the production of the Mayor’s Budget. An Administrator who missed the May 31 and June 6 Council meetings when amendments to that budget that would help correct the gross errors which the State found in the mayor’s budget were approved .
A budget submitted by an Administration which for the second time in four years had submitted a budget with over a million dollar error which would have been costly to the tax payer.
An Administration that submitted its budget at the deadline to just avoid State penalties
An Administration who has blamed any errors on a departed CFO, who left his office about three months before that budget was presented to the Council.
An Administration that has for over 6 years exhibited a callous regard for fiscal responsibility by not filling critical fiscal positions such as CFO , Director of Administration and Financial Services, and even City Administrator for extended periods of time.
An Administration that has ignored repeated fiscal irregularities that are pointed out by the City Auditors in consecutive annual audits.
An Administration that has demonstrated a disregard for Budget lines in authorizing expenditures of funds.
How can that Administration dare charge the Council with political motivation when its changes have actual saved taxpayer’s money and at the same time protected the Library which Administration would throw to the wolves?
Perhaps the Mayor believes that the results of the recent election to be a mandate. If so the Council majority will have a difficult task to protect the integrity of the government. It will need the 50K to employ its own legal Counsel.
We will find out if the Berry letters had any impact in Trenton when on Monday night the Council will vote on a resolution adopting the
amended budget amendments assuming that it has they have received State approval. The budget will then be voted upon June 18 after a public hearing on that date.