Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NOTICE

A long blogging weekend. Today is Tuesday an off day. Next Monday is the first Monday in August ans The Council'sAgenda fixing session.  I should have a post up on both Saturday and Sunday .

Monday, July 30, 2012

NO WORDS OF WISDOM

According to plan; no blog on weekends during Aug and July.
Not according to plan no Blog this Monday. No it was not the Olympics.
Surprise, I had an unanticipated but most welcomed 23.5 hour visit by the Richmond Mob; Reid, Amber, Madilyn(sic;her father was so excited he could not spell her name for the birth certificate) age 9 , and Logan age 7.
I may post later today or break  my no summer Tuesday routine.

Friday, July 27, 2012

KEEP UR KID SAFE


Wednesday I bemoaned that there was an increase in Pertusis (whooping cough) cases which suggested that parents were placing their children in danger by refusing to have them immunized.

One of the great advancements in Health care since I graduated from Medical School in 1943 has been the control of infectious diseases. Since many are due to a virus rather than bacteria the equally great revolution in treatment following the introduction of antibiotics has been the development of vaccines to prevent. We now also have effective vaccines to prevent the contagious bacterial killers.

One disease we have not vaccinated against for the past 40 years is small pox. This was in 1943 the only contagion we could protect against. Except for rare cases in Africa this plague which probably did more to enable the Europeans to occupy the Americas by decimating the native populations has been eradicated. However, as a precaution there is a banked supply of vaccine enough to immunize every American if there should be an outbreak.

Another dreaded viral  disease was poliomyelitis. With the effective vaccines we no longer have to deal with crippling deformities and paralysis of the respiratory muscles and the Iron Lungs

Other viral epidemics that can be prevented today are Mumps, Measles, German measles and Chicken Pox. The list includes Hepatitis A &B and Influenza. But one of the greatest advances is the vaccine to prevent Rotavirus infections in infants the cause of often fatal diarrhea.

Among the great advances are the vaccines to protect from the bacterial pneumonias especially in the elderly...

I have left to the end a discussion of the various types of Meningitis; both viral and bacterial. Meningitis is an infection of the lining around the brain and if bacterial is very often fatal even with our present antibiotics.

The viral types are usually transient and can only be treated symptomatically.
However the great killers are the bacterial diseases which may be various organisms. The most dangerous and  ones seen in epidemics are due to Haemophhilus Influenza-not to be confused with the Influenza virus; and the great rapid killer of young people in a closed environment such as a military camp or school  due to Meningococcus.
 
There is an effective vaccine against both bacteria and they do save lives. Once again I cannot condone the refusal for such protection regardless of the excuse.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A HEALTH PROBLEM

As I write this Tuesday evening I am unaware of any local developments that deserve comments. Perhaps, the morning paper will have some local news of concern.

During the last decades of my practice my worry was that I would miss the first new case of diphtheria seen in the area. It was a justified worry since I doubt that there had been any cases since the early 50s. With the advent of an effective vaccine it had disappeared from everywhere except third world nations. Even there it was being brought under control.

Thus no one would really be thinking about it when diagnosing sore throats. Certainly today none of the present docs has ever seen or thought about it. The danger is even greater since most primary care now a day is delegated to Nurse Practioners or Pas whose training has been even less intense.

Why would one be concerned? This contagious and if not fatal bacterial disease might result in paralysis of the swallowing muscles causing chocking or aspiration of material into the lungs with a fatal pneumonia. Other complications could be weakened heart muscles.
Thus the first few new cases would not be treated appropriately and all would suffer except the malpractice lawyers.

What brought this to mind were the reports on TV that there has been a significant increase in reported cases of whooping cough this year over previous years.

That once common childhood diseases although not often fatal was debilitating and could last for months weakening the patients resistance to other contagions that were more likely to have serious outcomes.  The development of the effective pertusis vaccine had resulted in two generations of children immune from this infection.

Thus the presence of new cases means that for some reason, weird parent concepts, ill-advised religious beliefs, or even parental neglect children were not receiving the trivalent protective vaccine starting at age 2 months.

Likewise, since that vaccine also protects from Tetanus and Diphtheria in should be only a matter of time before an epidemic of that dangerous disease erupts. In New Jersey this vaccination is required for all children in pre-school and from kindergarten up. However there are exemptions for medical reasons and religious beliefs but not for philosophical beliefs. .

 Addendum: One might wonder if there is a realistic difference between an seemingly mentally individual who would shoot up the audience in a theater  or parents who would risk the lives of their children for an irrational belief. One has become a killer of the innocent, the others are potential killers.

Monday, my cat, Mick, who is fifteen years old did not wake me. When he did not appear for "breakfast" and his share of my cereal milk we became very concerned. A search found him hiding under a bed where he could not be reached. He would not move or even meow. The kicker was that he would not go for a "pounce" 


When  cats think the end is near they try to go and hide. So of to the vet we went. There was no indication  of a serious illness but once more at home he was back under the bed and did not stir.


This morning about 3am I was awake and in the kitchen for something to drink when he appeared and  begged for a treat. He then ate a small amount of his food. He reappeared at breakfast time for his "lick" and some fresh food. Mick spent a good deal of the day asleep in his chair.  

He still does not act like a normal feline of his years.  This cat that never wanted to be held for any period of time today wishes to be picked up and petted. He is not eating well . However he is 100% better than Monday which  we hope was just a temporary aberration.

CAG meeting -POOL HOURS

Notice on City site.
"The Cag (Muhlenburg) Group Meeting Scheduled For Tonight Has Been Canceled"

What is new??? Did this not happen the last time?

Also posted on City Site the pool hours
Rushmore Playground: Mon-Wed-Fri 1PM-7PM;Sun 1PM-6PM
Hannah Atkins: Tues-Thurs-Sat 1PM-7PM
Seidlere Field Playground: Mon-Wed-Fri-Sat 1PM-7PM,Sun 1PM-6PM.
"POOL OPERATION HOURS HAVE BEEN LIMITED DUE TO THE NUMBER OF LIFEGUARDS AVAILABLE." Part of notice.

Good Planning! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

PENN STATE PAYS.

 Penn State has received its due from the NCAA. However, the greater problem is not addressed. The greater issue at stake is not that officials in charge turned their backs on a case of pedophilia. Instead it is what college athletics has become; big time multimillion dollar business.

College football and basketball can be such a money maker that the athletic directors and coaches earn salaries in the high six to seven figures; more than any professor. It has become a case that the end justifies the means and nothing will be done to jeopardize a program that has succeeded.

It has become so mercenary that now there will b e a “playoff tournamnet5 to select5 a National champion ala professional supports.

The players are not student-athletes; but players on what are in effect in the minor leagues for the professional teams. Yes they receive scholarships in lieu of salary; but in many programs there are part time work programs as a form of subsidy. It is true that in some programs the academics are a sham and if the player “graduates” he has not learned anything useful.

There are programs where supervision of presence on the job is lax. None pay enough for the holder to be able to drive a BMW.

The NCAA sanctions are a four-year postseason ban and a $60 million fine. The fine would be the equivalent of one season’s profit from football.

In addition, the school will be forced to cut 10 scholarships for this season and 20 scholarships for the following four years.

Finally, the school will be forced to vacate all wins from 1998-2011, a total of 112 victories, and serve five years of probation.

I feel that this last provision is not only overkill but makes the player’s victims for something that they had no part of. They should be allowed to keep their victories not punished for the sins of others. 

Sure; take the wins away from Paterno; he does not deserve to be remembered as the winingest coach in football.

There are sports that the colleges support some also act as a step towards professional careers but none generate a large profitable income and most are not self supporting. Lacrosse, M&F, Baseball, Softball, Soccer (M&F) Swimming, Tennis, Track, and in some Gymnastics. Most of the participants in these sports also seek an education .

ABOUT PENN STATE

I had planned to post commentary about the NCAA sanctions this afternoon. However, an unplanned visit to the vet. altered my time table.  The blog will be posted first thing Tuesday morning.

AURORA

Sunday i was the first anniversary of the  Norwegian massacres in which 77 were killed. The lone perpetrator was protesting the heavy influx of Muslims into Norway. He had planned well and included a diversion killing in Oslo before taking a boat to the island.

That killer had a “cause” and a plan which he had developed over a period of time. 

Friday night’s Aurora movie horror was also well planned and carried out meticulously. Fortunately his planned diversion never took place and his apartment did not explode.

We do not know what was his “cause”; but he too was protesting against society.

Certainly  neither  incidents were acts  of sanity, but were they actions of insanity as defined as a psychosis or just extreme  examples of pathological anti-social behavior?  In any case there is insanity manifested by these individuals removing themselves from an sense  of criminal or civic responsibility.

These actions occur frequently in various parts of the world. Few are on such a massive state but with the availability of mass communications of news I would surmise that there is at least one a year that is not terrorist inspire.

It is impossible to prevent every one. If someone notices signs suggesting the planning of such a act the authorities should be warned.

Should we ban the sale of “guns”? I do not believe so; but we  must make the sale of all automatic and assault weapons  illegal

A licensed hand gun for self protection and limited shot hunting weapons should be permitted. The laws should be Federal if they do not conflict with the Constitution.

We can not prevent these mass killings but we can make it more difficult to happen. 

With the NCAA sanctions on Penn State to be announced about 9AM I may post again early afternoon.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A CORRECTION

Yesterday in my Tidbit about Casey; funny as the remark may have been about the dead frog near the ER entrance I missed the punch line. The whole quote is ; "He almost made it. So close!!!" .

Friday, July 20, 2012

3 TIDBITS

Just a few unrelated tidbits for today's blog.

A 20degree drop in temperature from Wednesday to Thursday was most welcomed. The fact that we did that without suffering the effects of the  late afternoon storms is remarkable.

Bernice recent blog about the Charter Revision Ordinance reiterates some of my recent comments. I think that my remarks about the fact that Plainfield should not be bound by the Faulkner Act since its charter predates that act fell on deaf ears.

There are three major problems with the present Charter; the first being the legal one in which the  Mayor's  appointed Corporation Counsel also acts as the legal resource for the Council. No man/woman can serve two masters, The second one is the irrational allocations of divisions in the three Departments, and the final one is the anomaly of the City Clerk  who is secretary to the Council being appointed by the Mayor.

No one has sought or gotten a legal opinion why the Charter c an not be altered by an Ordinance providing for a separate attorney to the Council. Cities chartered under the Faulkner act have that right.

Likewise, during the Fury Administration there was by Ordinance a redistribution of various sections and divisions from  the Departments they were in  into a different Department. If that was "legal" then it should be now.

One of the major changes with the creation of a "civilian"Director of Police was the moving of Public Health from the Department of Public Safety to Administration and Finances. Certainly Health  should be part of Public Safety.

Finally the Faulkner act itself   allocates the selection of the City Clerk to the Council.

It would seem that the present Charter could be efficiently and quickly repaired without going through the course that we are now following. If needed an appointed Committee could study and make recommendations on a new line up of the various  divisions and even rename the departments.

Sometimes we do not appreciate enough our children and their sense of humor. As an example my 10 year old great grandson Casey is a typical "Sheldon" (Big Bang Theory). He has read all of the Harry Potter Books, is an expert on the Titanic and portions of the Civil War. Although he has an extremely high IQ he has no social skills. Like many of his era, he suffers from ADAH which is well controlled by medication. Incidentally his parents are very serious pragmatic people with no wild sense of humor. That sets the stage.

About two weeks ago his family was on vacation at the shore near Charleston South Carolina when his father developed a cellulitis in the leg and had to be hospitalized. Casey his mother  and sister were going to visit dad in the ER when he noticed a dead frog by the sidewalk: Casey said out loud "he almost made it".

The last item today deals with the two shootings Sunday night which apparently were reported by 911 calls and not through the ShotSpotter.  There also seemed from another blogger's report  much confusion on the 4th with firecrackers causing false police response.

Public Safety Director said the system needed "tweaking". It was over six months late in implementing and was supposed to be a turn key project. About a million dollars has been allocated for this tool and we still have to have some proof that it is money well spent.

Meanwhile the surveillance cameras are still in limbo.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today is Thursday  a summer no post r day.'

I am having a problem with the blogger editor '.  It has decided that everything should be  in unreadable miniature. I hope to work around or fix by Friday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LESSON TO LEARN


One would think that people would learn a lesson from the Sandusky affair. For a governing board or its members to ignore or dismiss complaints of abuse by a division or individual makes them just as culpable as the offenders,

At Penn State Paterno was informed years ago about Sandusky’s actions in the showers. Yet he refused to take any direct action because he was his friend and it might bring shame to his football program.  Instead he informed his superior but let his friends continue to use the facilities and travel with the team.

The University President who claims not to have been informed and the trusties using the same excuse did not act hoped that the problem would “go away”. The Athletic Director and various officials of responsibility also took a “hands off approach”.

When the bubble broke as most do,  all have suffered from their inaction. Paterno’s halo disappeared and his reputation will be forever tarnished. The others have been forced to resign and may face criminal charges but certainly indefensible litigation from families of victims.

This is a tale that members of the Council and Administration should pay attention. They may be guilty of similar potentially criminal action by ignoring rumors of fiscal irregularities especially in the conduct of the Independence Day celebration.

Where there is smoke there is most likely fire. The least Administration can do is have an open public investigation, and give a detail accounting of its findings.

If the Council fails to aggressively to determine if there is any substance to these rumors and innuendos and if it ultimately turns up that there were irregularities or even criminal actions; there is a possibility that members as a group and/or each one who did not speak up can be found guilty of complicity.

I for one do not have any firsthand knowledge of any illegal transaction. I have heard and read too many second and third person’s charges and in commentaries in blogs, especially about the recent celebration to believe that this matter may be nonsense.  However, I do not think the local authorities should sweep the matter under the carpet.

There is also a remote possibility that somehow these "reports" will catch the eye of responsible authorities in Trenton and a long overdue forensic audit will be ordered.

A PRELIMINARY COUNCIL REPORT

Perhaps, although I think just coincidental,  it was the absence of the Mayor and Council President Mapp that resulted in Monday nights short and harmonious meeting. Even with a 22 minute break for an executive session the meeting  concluded at about 9:40.

There was a large group of residents form the former Meadowbrook Village now known a s Laural  Lawrence Gardens apartment complex who complained about unresolved code violations including health hazards such as mold. They felt that Inspections had not been forceful or critical about the conditions.Acting Council President Annie Williams  requested Director of Public Works Jackson to look onto the matter.  

All schedules Ordinances and Resolutions on the agenda were  passed without opposition.Hoverer Councilors Rivers and Greaves abstained on a vote to renew the license for the " Latino's Corp." at 665 South Ave .This was on a new Resolution which had been added to the agenda.

In total there were  8 resolutions added to the agenda, all being accepted and passed.

One of the new items was the awarding of a paving contract for Contract Group 3 to pave:
  1. Myrtle Ave from Jefferson Ave to Rock Ave
  2. Rock Ave. from South Second to Green Brook Bridge
  3. West Fourth St. from MascDowell St to Plainfield Ave.
  4. West Fourth St. from Palinfield Ave. to Park Ave..
 Along with the Contract Group 2 previously reported the number of newly paved streets by this fall and election time will be outstanding. What is more important as long as Director Jackson of Public Works is aboard these roads will be maintained.

Along those lines those of us who travel Watchung Ave. noticed that this just completed project had 5 new "openings". It seems that there was an epidemic of water line breaks mainly in the lead based collateral  pipes that lead to homes. I have been informed that as soon as the new fill settles it will be finished with new top coating laser bonded to the existing pavement. This is a sad but unforeseen  incident.
.

Monday, July 16, 2012

BOE meeting

 FYI -On BOE site;you may have missed it. Why attend?


 PLAINFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION
Plainfield, N.J.
Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Time: 6:30 p.m. PUBLIC SESSION
6:35 p.m. MEETING CLOSED FOR
EXECUTIVE SESSION
. SPECIAL MEETING
Place: PLAINFIELD HIGH SCHOOL
CONFERENCE ROOM
950 PARK AVE.
Board of Education Members
Mrs. Renata A. Hernandez, President
Mrs. Wilma G. Campbell, Vice President
Mr. Alex O. Edache
Mrs. Keisha Edwards
Mrs. Brenda L. Gilbert
Mr. Dorien Hurtt
Mrs. Lisa C. Logan-Leach
Dr. Susan Phifer
Ms. Jameelah Surgeon
Mrs. Anna Belin-Pyles, Superintendent
I. CALL MEETING TO ORDER
II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
III. ROLL CALL
IV. WELCOME
V. EXECUTIVE SESSION
WELCOME to a SPECIAL MEETING of the Plainfield Board of Education. Members hope you will find
the meeting interesting and informative. We thank you for taking the time to attend. Please be advised
this and all meetings of the board are open to the media and public, consistent with the Open Public
meetings Act (Ch. 231 Laws of 1975), and that the advance notice required therein has been provided to
the Courier News and Star Ledger on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 for advertisement on Saturday, July 14,
2012 and also provided to the Plainfield Public Schools, the District’s website, the Plainfield City Clerk,
Police Department, and Plainfield Public Library for posting.
WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A.10:4-11, permits the Board of Education to meet
in closed session to discuss certain matters, now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Plainfield Board of Education adjourns to closed session to discuss:
 Personnel
 Legal, and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the minutes of this closed session be made public when the need for
confidentiality no longer exists.(forever?)
The Board of Education will recess into its Executive Session.

MONDAY STUFF

Two days ago Plaintalker's blog was devoted to the subject of "Tightening the fiscal controls (Plainfield's). As previously reported in this blog the latest questionable financial transaction results from at best shoddy bookkeeping for the July 7 events.

It has been noted that there still is no CFO or Purchasing Officer aboard; although there are RFQs for both positions on the City site,

Tonight the Council will vote on hiring a "City Treasurer". This is a position that had been dormant (unfilled and unfunded) for years until Zilinski was hierd  hired on  a part time basis in 2011. Because he could not act as a CFO without jeopardizing his benefits; the Administration employed him as Treasurer with duties  of a CFO. Ms Shelly-Buono's application was first submitted as CFO but withdrawn. She is being presented tonight for the post of "Treasurer of the City."

We will still not have a CFO or Purchasing Officer  on line after tonight. But we will have two archaic positions that may need special budget adjustments "who are capable" to assume  those duties;the City Treasurer and the City Comptroller in the person of Special Corporation Counsel Phillips who can function as Purchasing Officer. I believe that there was an Ordinance last year that would fund the Treasurer but how is the Comptroller funded? Only in Oz!

Incidentally, in line with this Administrations strict fiscal controls there  are Resolutions tonight that involve expenditure of funds. By law there should be a CFO's certification that such funds are available.  All the Certificates are in place; however there is a partial legible signature on the CFO line that appears to be "A Fluzt" . I have been  informed that it is the very part time few hours a week CFO Glenn Cullen's stamp. Some of these signatures have been initialed presumably by whomever used the stamp. Are these certificates valid? Perhaps some Councilor will give an  answer.

My Son-in-law and daughter who have spent a very pleasant weekend here are leaving after dinner so there is a possibility that I shall not make tonight's meeting. If I do I will post tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

NO SUNDAY BLOG

Since the matters on Monday's Council agenda have been covered this week in Plaintalker and here, there is no need to post anything  tomorrow.

My daughter and son-in-law will be here over the weekend so Monday will most likely be vacation time. If I get to the Council meeting should post on Tuesday.

Friday, July 13, 2012

THE CHARTER and REVISION #2

The Optional Municipal Charter Law or Faulkner Act
 (Continuation)


The Mayor-Council plan, the other form under the Faulkner Act that resembles Plainfield’s charter, depending on the municipality’s size provides for a specific number of elected Councilmen.  That would be 7 for Plainfield, and the breakdown is the same as in our charter.
The mayor may attend council meetings and has the right to speak, but not to vote. The mayor has a veto power over ordinances, which may be overridden by two-thirds majority of the council.

The council exercises the legislative power of the municipality and has various investigative and fiscal control powers. The council’s only appointment power, under the Mayor-Council Form of government, is that of municipal clerk, a council attorney, and certain boards and authorities. They may remove municipal officers only for cause.

In many communities using this form of government, the mayor and council disagree over who has the power to appoint the municipal attorney. The Commission recommends that the statute provide that the mayor shall appoint the municipal attorney as a department head.

As can be observed; Plainfield’s Charter of 1968 is a bastardized combination of both the Mayor Council and The Mayor-Council-Administrator configurations of the revised 1981 OMCL Act.

There are at least three major differences:
The first and perhaps most annoying to the Mayor is that she is a “guest” not an official part of the Council at its meeting and thus can only speak at the consent of the Council President.

Another big difference is that Faulkner’s-Mayor Council structure gives the Council the right to appoint the City Clerk. Since much of the Municipal Clerk’s work load is for the Council that might be a desired change.

The third and most serious difference is under the OMCL act the Council can appoint its own attorney. The “Conflict of Interest” inherent in the Corporation Counsel’s office initiated by being appointed by the Mayor and adviser to the Mayor makes it desirable for the Council to have its own legal adviser.

It is my opinion that the only absolute needed change it the Charter is in the Council’s legal support

Since the Council is responsible for the budget under Plainfield’s Charter it should be able to pass an Ordinance  creating  that position and be able to override the anticipated Mayor’s veto.

The wheels are turning on a Charter revision; however would it not be simpler to just create a Council Counsel to have an annual term concurrent with the Council’s? That should make a revision study moot.

I also have trouble with the concept of an elected committee to study the charter. Those that do so should be well versed in municipal government structure and/or philosophy. They would be better equipped if they had an administrative background.

Unfortunately the history of popular nonpartisan elections (BOE) in Plainfield has shown that they are minimally participated popularity contests often impacted by small agenda group blocs. The result can and may be a committee consisting of highly motivated but not the best qualified individuals.

Since Plainfield is not a Faulkner Chartered community I cannot see why it should be bound by Faulkner Act’s rules. A ruling on this could be obtained from the State.

We know what the Corporation Counsel’s position is but perhaps some other legal minds can also opine. That might give us guidance in how to approach this problem.

All that wrote; I would be much happier if there was a somewhat larger but small committee appointed by the Mayor  preferably but not necessarily jointly with the Council.

One of the reasons being that too often those who would have the best input are reluctant to volunteer but if asked would willingly serve. Another reason is that many of these individuals feel that they would not be elected and cannot face that fact.

I may post Saturday am some info on the Council Agenda and on Sunday if there is any change from last Monday’s  session.


THE CHARTER and REVISION #1

The Optional Municipal Charter Law or Faulkner Act
Due to the length of this post one half will be posted early this morning; the rest later in the morning..
Monday the Council is going to approve on second reading an ordinance calling for (1)a referendum if there should be a study about a Charter revision; and (2) election of  5  members of a committee to make that study.

This is the mandated methodology for the change or its study of any municipality charted under the Faulkner Act in  New Jersey. Whether it is applicable to Plainfield mighty be open to legal dispute; however that is the route that Plainfield’s Solicitor in his role as de facto Corporation Counsel has advised.

My basis for that comment is based on the fact that Plainfield is not chartered under the Faulkner Act but has a special charter issue in 1968. However, we must first have some understanding about where Plainfield differs from an OMCL municipality.

There are two types of special charters in New Jersey: 1) "Orphan" charters issued by the state legislature in the 19th century prior to the major constitutional revision of 1875, which prohibited "special" or locality specific legislation. Most "orphan" charters are a variation of the weak mayor-council type. 2) Special charters issued by the state legislature under the provisions of the state Constitution of 1947 and NJSA 1:6-10 et seq. These special charters defy simple classification, and include variations of the weak mayor-council form, council-manager form, township committee form, and the village form.

Plainfield’s Charter differs in that it is a “strong mayor” albeit part time-council form with the addition of a City Administrator responsible for all the day by day operations of the city.

The Faulkner Act itself enacted in 1950 provided for three forms of 
government: Mayor-Council, Council-Manager and Small Municipality. This became the available alternates to the special Charters or those operating under the 1920s Adams Act. Plainfield’s new Charter was granted during this period and fit none of the 3 available.

In 1981, the Faulkner Act was significantly amended. The Council-Manager plan was amended to include the option of having a mayor chosen by the electorate. A new form, Mayor-Council-Administrator, was added. Municipalities were also given greater flexibility to amend their Faulkner Act charter without having to place the entire charter on the ballot.

The revised Faulkner Act provide for four (4) forms of municipal governments:  
The Mayor-Council form features a mayor with strong powers. Municipalities under this plan establish three to ten executive departments, headed by a director appointed by the mayor with the consent of the council.
The Council-Manager plan places complete responsibility for municipal affairs in the council. The council appoints a municipal manager who is the chief executive with broad authority.
The Small Municipality plan can be adopted by communities with a population of fewer than 12,000. All legislative powers are vested in the council with the mayor presiding over council sessions and having both voice and vote.
The Mayor-Council-Administrator form with the addition of an appointed professional administrator. There can be no deviation from the prescribe form unlike variations permitted in the other three. It is thus organized: Mayor and 6 council members. At-large, staggered terms, Mayor: 4 year term. Council: 3 year term.  
  THE MAYOR exercises executive power of the municipality and presides over Council BUT. Votes only to break ties. Has veto subject to override by 2/3 of all Council members. Appoints municipal clerk, administrator, attorney, tax collector, tax assessor, treasurer, and department heads with Council approval. May remove department heads upon written notice to Council.
   The COUNCIL exercises legislative power of the municipality. Approves Mayor's appointees for municipal clerk, administrator, attorney, tax collector, tax assessor, treasurer and department heads. May remove department heads for cause after a hearing. Prepares budget with assistance of municipal administrator and treasurer Administrator supervises administration of each department Up to six departments may be created by ordinance. 
(see next post)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Notice

I previously posted that for July and August I do not intend to blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Exceptions will be made if there is an earth shaking event or on the Tuesday after a Council meeting. Similarly, except before  a Council meeting the same time off rule will be in effect on Saturday and Sunday.

Today was Thursday.
It is Thursday!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

AGENDA SESSION #3

Routine business occupied most of the Resolutions to b e placed on Monday night’s agenda. One item was more than routine. That was to award a $1,920,208.43 contract for resurfacing the roads in Group 2 to the lowest bidder.

The contracts for Groups 1 & 4 are anticipated to be ready for the August meetings. Group 3 had to be rebid because of an error in purchasing in which one bid was opened hours before the deadline.
The rebids will be opened on Wednesday and if all the due diligence can be accomplished in time, the winning bid will be placed before Council this Monday. Don’t hold your breath; the time line is too short.

However all the streets in the 4 Groups will be finished either this year or early 2013. Could there be an election that year to stimulate attention to what should have been done the past six years?

By far the most controversial subjects came up after the end of the agenda business and in the Council and the Public Comment periods.

Councilor Williams reported that her inquires to Recreation for an accounting of income and expenditures for t he “4th of July” celebration had been met only with an incomplete excel sheet. She also repeated a previous charge that some one with apparent official papers was soliciting fees above those listed from merchants. There was no accounting of these funds.

During Public comments citizens question why with its over 700K budget only the Rushmore playground pool was open as of the 9th. The Hannah Atkins pool was not even ready for use during this heat wave and certainly beyond the accepted dates for all municipal pools to be available.

In the East End only the kiddy pool was available. In addition the Recreation sponsored swimming class was limited to 25 registries; a ridiculous low number for a municipality of this size.

It was noted that Recreation had sent publicity notices of its planned summer programs to the PSS/BOE with a request that they be distributed to the children. However the BOE seemed not to have made any attempt to do so.

A complaint by another resident was relayed that the independent soccer program had been denied the use of the fields on Sundays making only Saturday available.  That again had a negative impact on the program.

A request was made by Council to the City Administrator to report back about what was wrong with the pool programs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

THE MAYOR STRIKES


Once again the Mayor has managed to outmaneuver the Council. This time through an Inter-Office Memorandum from the sub-audible City Administrator to the Council President; she has effectively protected the PMUA from any dissolution consideration by rejecting the Council’s request for RFQs for legal counsel to a study if the PMUA should be terminated.

Instead she has proposed a committee to be “established within the next 30 days” to “address the services provided by the PMUA, the rates charged for these services, and the concerns of the ratepayers”. “Once the Committee has reached its conclusion, it will report back to the Council with its recommendations on the next appropriate steps”. There is no time limit for the study.

The Committee is weight heavily to represent the Administration consisting of an unspecified number of “Members of the Administration; Two(2) Council Members; Two (2) PMUA Commissioners (Dunn and Sanders?);PMUA Executive Director(former Corporation Counsel Williamson);Plainfield Corporation Counsel; PMUA Legal Counsel; Independent Legal Counsel(?)- (to be selected how?); Independent Financial Analyst; and Engineer? (the City’s?).

That is a minimum of 11 members all but four (4) members of Administration or PMUA.
Can anyone conceive that such a loaded group would find any reason to change a patronage goldmine?

In the past few years the Mayor has managed to pigeon hole the investigation of the authorship of the “Scarlet Letter”; and the handling of the QCBL-Recreation baseball dispute. Obviously anything that had to impact on Recreation was untouchable.