Saturday, September 29, 2012

MONDAY'S ADGENDA

One mystery solved; the resolution to appoint a Temporary Acting CFO (Lisa Marshal who I believe is the City’s Financial Officer) is for only for the period from 9/30/12 through 10/14/12 when the Acting CFO will not be available.
Resolution “G” to Authorize approval to certify review (by Council?) of the 2012 Best Practices Inventory is not routine because the “inventory , an answer to State criteria of fiscal management  is a multipage document in which I believe there are 33 questions about fiscal management in which the city does not follow at least 13. The failures represent the fact that there has been no CFO for most of this administration.
Among the most glaring negative findings :( 1) General Ledger items are not reconciled with bank statements, (2) Grant programs are not reviewed quarterly to see if all expenses are file for reimbursement or have been properly charged. (3)Collective bargaining agreements have not been held to a 2%  average increase,(4) Failure to comply  with accepted practices in insurance broker contracts to have the structure of the broker’s payments defined in contract,,(5) Supervisors do not review employees times and attendance declarations does not make available to public free of charge  current salaries of  all personnel and changes over a  3 year period. There are 8 more significant fasilures that can lead to improper loss of city funds.
The failures noted in the “inventory” which is reported to the State will cause a loss of 20%  of the 5% additional State aid. This is only 1% of total aid but as grandma said “the pennies add up”.
In 2011 a contract by competitive bidding was granted t o C.H.S. Construction CO. (why does the name seem familiar?) for $13,500.00 for “deconstruction” of the [property at 326 Leland Ave.  Item “V” is to authorize an increase of $6 753.00 (50%) due to “material located in a bank vault”!!!! There should be some explanation.
Another item which needs explanation is why Remington etal is being granted an additional $4850.00 over the original $15,000.00 for Topographical services “Arial survey” of area which is basically the flood plain.

3 comments:

  1. Question 27 of the Best Practices Inventory asks "Does your municipality exclude from Healthcare coverage part-time elected and appointed officials (less than 35 hrs/week)?" The city answers yes, despite the fact that most of its appointed PMUA commissioners do, and they do it regardless of a local ordinance supported by state law that limits their compensation to $4500 annually. This is nothing short of theft. Count City Council wannabe Tracey Brown, along with former mayor Harold Mitchell, Alex Toliver, and Carol Brokaw among the offenders.

    Also troubling are the circumstances surrounding the change order adding $6753 to the cost of demolishing 326 Leland. Included in that figure is $2122 for waste dumped at PMUA. It seems to me that if the city can demolish a property, it controls that property, even if only temporarily. Yet the Inter Local Agreement between the city and PMUA says there will be no service charges or fees for cleanup of city owned or controlled property.

    This raises a few other questions. First being what sort of vendor bids on demolishing a building by only looking at the outside of the structure? Second being the utilization of a vendor who is a Democratic committeeman and PMUA alternate commissioner. Cecil Sanders is now in the somewhat unenviable position of conflicted interest. His company, having first made a bid based on inadequate information, is now looking for more money so he can pay his subcontractor partly for questionable PMUA charges while he is a sitting member of the Authority. Maybe OPRA will provide some answers.

    My takeaway is that our costs as residents of Plainfield increase exactly because of "material located in a bank vault"- the bank accounts of that clique of public and party officials, and their loyal hangers-on with patronage jobs, who use their political connections to enrich themselves at public expense.

    The conflicts and self-dealing that abound in Plainfield are the greatest obstacle to a positive future for the city. Voters will shortly have, yet again, another opportunity to make a dent in this sordid power structure, but it is unlikely they will do so.

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  2. As some have pointed out CHS is Cecil Sander's company with noteworthy offices in Newark.Paste ("http://www.chsconstructionco.com/#!home/mainPage.") in address line.

    The size of this job seems inconsistent with his company, however Mr. Sanders is as Alternate PMUA Commissioner one of the two who brokered the million dollar termination.

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  3. I have some questions on this as well. I am very concerned about the favoritism and cronyism with regard to a number of these contracts. Am I to believe that there is no other company in the state of NJ that could fulfill the contract for the deconstruction of this building? The paperwork submitted by the city says that Sanders's company submitted the "lowest responsible bid" and yet we now see this desire for more money, along with a "10% overhead and fee" charge. How "responsible" is that? What, then is the value of this company if all they do is subcontract out to another company to perform the actual work? Is this a middle-man's finder's fee? I find everything having to do with these business practices offensive, and it is clealrly a conflict of interest for Sanders to have any city contracts. I hope Mr. Howard will be present at the meeting to explain what exactly is going on here.

    Rebecca

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