Wednesday, June 20, 2012
R222-12 IN OZ
Was it due to something similar to Dorothy’s tornado for Plainfield’s Council seemed to have suddenly been transported again to OZ when R 221-12 and 222-12 were brought up for consideration.
It seems that last week in Court the unnamed Judge rule that although despite the fact that the State had approved Plainfield’s Special Charter which gives the Council the right to impose a fine up to $200.00 there were two reasons that it could not be applied; the first was that State Law prohibited a Municipal Council from acting as a criminal court and secondly there was no provision for the Council to enforce collection of the fine.
Therefore the Council’s Resolution was invalid and the Council prepared a replacement resolution (222-12). But first R036-12 had to be rescinded to eliminate the offending resolve. When the vote was called; R221-12 passed by a 6:1 vote. Councilor Greaves had voted to retain R036-12. But after some hurried whispering before the next item could be brought up, Councilor Greaves changed her vote to make it unanimous.
R222-12 was then presented. It had been posted on the agenda to only eliminate the improper resolve which was replaced with one that stated “that the findings of the investigation conducted by Ramon River (sic) Esq. are hereby memorialized and adopted by the Governing Body.”
However there was a further amended resolution which greatly toned down the first resolve by removing such terms as ‘willfully committing serious violations” and “being willfully uncooperative.” That had to first be vote on to replace 22-12 as written.
When the amended resolution was opened Councilor Reid went into his 33RPM speech about how much the Council had wasted the public’s funds over a mere $20,000.00, that legal fees including the cost of the investigation were going to amount to over $70K; how he arrived at that figure I don’t know. Perhaps he was assuming that the City was picking up the Mayor’s legal fees.
He added that the whole thing had made us the laughing stock of the country. WE should just drop the whole matter.
Reid ignored the fact that it was the Mayor’s suit against the Council that brought notoriety to the matter.
Reid then asked if the County Prosecutor, the State Attorney General or the DCA had replied to the request for investigation. When he was told that only the County Prosecutor had replied that he saw no merit to pursue an action, Councilor Reid again said that there was reason enough to drop the matter. There has been no follow up to see if either State agency received their letters.
Could anyone expect a different opinion from a County Prosecutor’s office that refused to investigate the hate “Scarlet” letter that apparently had been produced on a City Hall machine, or take action against a high city official who served a three day suspension after being found guilty of using a city vehicle while engaged in the same illegal action for which lesser personal have been routinely terminated? Could the Prosecutor be influenced by political party affiliation? We will never know.
After R222-12 was adopted by the not surprising 4:3 vote, the Mayor who attends the meetings as a guest along with the Corporation Counsel and City Administrator who are there as resources ask for a “point of personal privilege” a parliamentary procedure reserved for official members of the meeting body.
Council President Mapp reminded her of her status but granted her the floor to make a statement. Instead the Mayor who had come prepared with an easel and charts started on an attack against the hearing stating she had never had the opportunity to question her accusers She remarked that her action had stop the shootings in Plainfield (see today’s Courier and this year’s number of reported shootings).
At that point Map cut her off noting that he had not granted her the right to make a presentation.
One other weird note; Councilor Greaves had arrived about 20 minutes late for the meeting just before the Ordinances for Second Reading were up for vote. She is first on the roll call and when the vote was called she appeared confused about what was being voted and asked to be permitted to cast her vote last.