Saturday, September 15, 2012

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

On Thursday I posted a long blog about questions I had regarding an easier and almost cost free way to alter our City Charter instead of the route we are following.

I had written to three State Departments/Divisions in the hope of getting some information with which I could pursue my argument with the Council. Unfortunately two refused to answer by hiding behind some long forgotten previous Governor’s directive or assumed role; the third did not even bother to acknowledge.

The Council has adopted a course recommended by the City’s Solicitor/ acting Corporation Counsel. This is a procedure that Cities chartered under the Faulkner Act must follow. I had contended that Plainfield’s Special Charter which predated the Faulkner Act exempted it from those provisions.

While I have respect for the acting Corporation Council and believe that he acted in good faith; I may point out that he has issued an opinion on an subject with which he has a conflict of interest; the relationship of the Corporation Counsel to the Council.

My blog elicited two responses that I consider additional reason for the Council President to pursue an official answer to my three questions:

Alan Goldstein wrote: “Let's also not forget the costs associated with a charter commission. It will need financial support if it is to do a credible job. Witnesses will testify and public hearings will be held before any determinations are made. There will be materials and dissemination expenses. This costs real money and the City Council and Administration should make known what support the city will offer so the commission's work is successful, forceful, and not simply a committee of concerned citizens going through a civics exercise.”

Dottie Gutenkauf said...”we citizens should be made aware of how much this will cost us before we're asked to vote on it. How about it, administration and council?”

Anything that can be done to accelerate and accomplish a needed process without real expense to the city would make our government more efficient and I hope more responsive to the people.

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