Friday, May 31, 2013

MORE PRIMARY THOUGHTS

DC daughter came with Roanoke faction; all of 3 plus Slapshot a 3 month old Australian shepherd. Obviously no time for a blog. May be able to get down to serious stuff Sunday afternoon.

On Wednesday I posted "Some Primary Thoughts" in which I referred to the Tepper Building basement Condo the City owns and also to Dan Dammon's blog about the status complete with pictures  of the $469K "vanilla box" that former City Administrator Dashields reported  to be the results of the last minute contract.

Friday Councilwoman Rebecca Williams in her "And my point is" blog gave a detail account of the financial transaction that depleted the near $500K grant. Her blog is a must read which can be reaccched through a link in Friday's "CLIPS" or from the list of blogs in Plainfield Today.

This is another evidence that one of the Mayoral candidate has had a unique fiscal spending system.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SOME PRIMARY THOUGHTS



Less than a week to elections; the local one has been marked by the paucity of material from one candidate, although it is surmised that there is a well organized political base including the PMUA leadership, members of the local Nation of Islam mosque, as well as her own large religious congregational affiliation.

Wednesday Dan Damon raised several questions about expenditures for the Teppers condo (aka unused basement) authorized by the present administration. Unanswered have been similar questions related to the QuadTech fiasco.

In 2010 the City submit an application to the state's UEZ grantors requesting $800,000 in project funding to implement 'Phase III' of the city's proposed closed circuit surveillance system for the downtown business district.   (R291-10), this year there was a proposed tabled ordinance for capital funds that included funding for the “camera surveillance to be placed in the renovated basement of the Police Station. Note that there were overruns in that contract because an unknown wall and room were not (?) on the building plans.

How much money has been spent on this project along with ShotSpotter during the bb past 4-5 years?
These are just a few of the large sum items that have not generated positive results to date. One thing in common; in all cases there has been a void in personnel responsible for fiscal oversight.

On another scale; at the State level although on both the Republican and the Democrat ballots there are two candidates for the Governors nomination. Remarkably all the preprimary TV and Radio campaign spots from both Christie and Buono have been directed at each other as if this would be the deciding election between the two. We do have 5 months before the general election.

Please be advised (sounds formal) that Thursday night through Sunday I will be entertaining my Roanoke daughter, son-in-law and Slapshot their new puppy. Mick will be hiding under the bed, stray shoes will be hiding in the closet etc. I doubt that I will have any time for a pre-election post until Monday but may be able to slip one in.

HAPPY BLOG



One more day of relaxing from serious blog writing. However; add to the week’s disasters. A freight train derailed 2pm Tuesday near Baltimore. Cars caught fire and there was an explosion which reportedly destroyed buildings nearby.

This past weekend was a most pleasant one for me. On Monday the granddaughter of a friend was married in an outdoor ceremony. Not only was the fact that the weather had turned perfect for the ceremony; but the family had other happy news.

Several weeks ago the bride’s sister was thrown from a carriage when a horse bolted. She suffered in addition to a leg fracture severe head injuries requiring surgery to relieve the effects of inter cranial bleeding. Within the past week she has regained consciousness and shown increasing signs of cognitive restoration including writing her name on an I-pad. She is now at a point where she is going to be transferred to a rehab facility. Although she may need speech therapy she potentially will make almost a complete recovery.
 
All in all Memorial Day was a very happy day for that family, as it should be.

Monday, May 27, 2013

JUST POTPOURRI



What a weird week. An oversize truck hits a girder on a bridge in Washington; the bridge collapses dumping two cars in the river. Two trains collide in Missouri, derailed cars hits a highway bridge pillars; the road collapses and it being night time a car drives off into the gap.

A Cruise ship in the Caribbean has a fire, but can proceed to port.

Chile and Argentina have ordered the evacuation of some 3,000 people living near the Copahue volcano in the south of their border. A volcano in Mexico has been threatening to erupt

In the last 24 hours there have been 84 seismographic reported earthquakes; about a half dozen in the 5 scale. One in Russian Georgia another off the East Coast of Kamachatka (Pacific)
We have gone from air conditioning to needing the heat on and will be back into the 90s in a few days.

In Oz the political scene has been sort of quiet over the holidays. This coming week is the last before elections. When will the shoe drop?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

NOT POLITICAL POTPOURRI



This is a long holiday weekend and people have little time to read blogs so unless something unique even for Oz turns up I may not post again until Tuesday.


Just a few notes today; Only in the beautiful city of Oz would a so called Community Forum be held in a night club. Only in Oz would a sensationalist national activist demagogue make a unsolicited support appearance for a primary candidate.


Friday night's doings should remind all that the mayor should not be taken lightly. She has a large support base which she has cultivated over the last seven years; who will turn out and support her.


As Yogi Berra noted “ It ain’t over till it is over.”


I do not recall the source of this review of Robinson-Brigg’s first term in office, but it is worth keeping in mind before this election.
Understand  that it was written for the previous election but so much must be added for the past three years; No full time CFO;The Mayor and the Corporation Council acting as City Administrator, the $20,000.00 scandal, the alleged "extortion" of merchants for the 2011 4th celebration; the vacant Health Officer position etc.




 ADMINISTRATION FINANCIAL ERRORS  AND IRREGULAR ACTIONS and FAILURES
          1        Muhlenberg Hospital closing
          2        1.66 million dollar deficit (revenue shortfall) in 2008-2009 budget due to clerical error. Covered by "bookeeping actions
          3        The Budget for FYI 2010 due July 1, 2009; has yet to be delivered to the city council although promised by Sept 24 The budget for 2013 due 1/1/13 just delivered to Council;5 months have passed.
          4        Filing 2010  request for State extraordinary funds withput Council knowledge or approval-illegal
          5        Using rubber stamps  on financial doccumemnts, checks, certifiaction of available funds etc. In 2012/13 a rubber stamp and initialed by someone.
          6        Extended and Continuing Vacancy in Chief Finance Office
          7        Long-time vacancy of Director of Administration, Finance, Health & Social Services
          8        Plainfield Hires Fires Douglas Peck as Finance Chief in 2008  without proper vetting. "Moving" costs paid by City.
          9        Failure to provide Council with facts -STONEWALLING-"Will get back to You"
          10      .Despite appropriations and available Grants Potholes In The Streets Still Need To Be Fixed Street repaving efforts inefficient and many of the worst streets still untouched
          11      City Vehicles Issued to Some Administrators at No Cost Whether Personal or Not (24-7)
          12      The misappropriation of the "NJ Clean Communities" yearly grants that is automatically provided to the city of Plainfield by the State (On 2008 the "Clean Communities" Grant was $44,688.50, this is the average grant to the city)
          13      Over $40,000 Missing from Tax Collectors Office (3 years ago) no Investigative Action to-Date
          14      2. $275.000 Police Chief Santiago settlement and rehire in battle with the Mayor and Assemblyman Green
          15      The use of  "best avaialable" to award hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts without compeditiev bidding
          16      Illegal creation of positions for "acting' appointments
          17      The misuse of funds granted for, for the yet to start construction of it, and the disregard of our neighborhood's input and work into the Park Avenue and E. 9th Street oncoming (?) peninsula.
          18      Administration tries to Ram Thru Ordinances and Appointments
          19      Plainfield Taxpayers get 6.5% Increase in Property Tax
                  
      ADMINISTRATIVE  FAILURES OF COMMISION
          1        THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR'S  DISREGARD OF STAET STATUES FOR APPOINTMENTS
          2        THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR'S CONSISTANT LACK OF FACTS AT COUNCIL MEETINGS -The infamous 'I will get back to you"
          3        THE CORPORATION COUNSEL ACTING AS THE ADMINISTRATIONS AGENT  AND NOT THE "CORPORATION AKA CITY" LEGAL ARM.
          4        THE CORPORATION COUNSEL NOT ALLERTING TO THE MAYOR AND City  ADMINISTRATOR CREATION OF PHANTOM POSITIONS  PER STATE STATUES
          5        The lack of support for our local youth by providing them with a safe, fun, and attractive, gathering place
          6        Audit Reports Should Be Made Public Information 2006; 2007; 2008
          7        PMUA Excess Fees for Service to Residents; failure to appoint responsible commissioners
          8        Continuing Crime In City of Plainfield
          9        Poor Living Conditions in Privately Owned Apartment Buildings including overcrowding
          10      Lack of City’s Ability to Affectively Manage Budget
          11      Connolly Properties continuing problems not adequately addresses
          12      Lack of Development Planning/Knowledge by Administration
          13      Abuse of power by the Mayor in terms of ordering them to do illegal acts
          14      Citizens Budget Advisory Committee. flunks city administration (2007)
          15      Inadequate Staff For Information Technology Dept.
          16      he lack of concern and action on 340 Franklin Place
          17      The lack of answers, action, and concern on the three empty lots on E. 9th Street
          18      The disregard of our neighborhood's call for a regular sweep cleaning schedule of all our neighborhood streets
          19      The disregard for our neighborhood's call to implement alternate parking days
          20      The overgrown weeds all over the city
          21      The lack of care for city trees
          22      The lack of advocacy to obtain better maintenance from the county for the county's owned city parks (Green Brook and Cedar Brook Parks)
          23      The lack of concern, lack of planning, and lack of support to preserve the architectural historic value of our city
          24      The lack of information on crime to the community
          25      . One-year delay and poor choice of appointments for the Muhlenberg CAG
          26      The lack of support for local business owners and the local shopping area
          27      The lack of vision for improving and beautifying the downtown area
          28      The lack of improvements for the 1st and 4th Ward
          29      For the politicization of Board and Commissions
          30      For her failure to make Plainfield a much better place than what she found when she became mayor
          31      For her lack of effort to partner with the community at large
          32      . Government Transparency Has Never Happened
                  
       OTHER NEGATIVE FACTS OF BRIGGS ADMINISTRATION
                  
          1        PBA Officer/Mayor’s Former Body Guard Charged with Theft
          2        Resignation of City Administrator Carlton McGee in 2006
          3        .Dept. Heads Do Not Communicate with Each Other
          4        Poor Notification Of City Council Meetings
          5        City’s Unemployment Rate is Double Digit
          6        Plainfield Residents Are Leaving in Record Numbers
          7        Senior Center Opening has been constantly delayed.
          8        City Continues to Lose Tax Revenue With Each Un-sold Monarch Condo Unit
          9        High Number of Foreclosure Filings on Plainfield Homes
         10      Personal/Relative Disclosure Statement Forms Must Be Made Available to The Public for Information
          11     Mayor Left Out Her $35,000. Salary on the Financial Disclosure Statement
          12      The lack of support and respect to the Latino community
          13      The lack of support, advocacy, and programs for better racial relations between the many different racial groups that make up the city

There has been no pattern change. nor will there be.

Oh yes, I am going to vote for Mapp. He may b e the last chance for Plainfield to survive as a viable city.