Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FINANCIAL SCANDAL



Obviously I should check the online edition of the Courier in the evening before writing my blog for the next morning. If so today I would have featured (?) an extended version of this blog instead of one about climate and our physical violent earth, much less than its dominant animal, Homo Sapiens.

This morning’s Courier brought me back to a reality that I have expounded frequently in recent months; where is the promised forensic audit of Plainfield’s finances for the last few years.
Yes Administration must request the funds for it. We are now beginning the 10th month of the Mapp Administration. Of course it is inconceivable that this Council dominated by handpicked ward representatives would ever consider any action that might lead to exposure of significant financial irregularities by an administration headed by City Democrat Party Chairman’s protégé, Sharon Robinson-Briggs.

Indeed as of last month’s Council meeting the only indication was that a Consultant was still trying to unravel the financial quirks in the Recreation Division.

Last night DAWG was uncomfortable and very restless which meant that I had a very disturbed and sleepless early night; waking up ungodly late at 8:45.

I was greeted when I opened the Courier with the headline “Plainfield Officers Accused of Faking Overtime”. Two publicly respected members of the Department had falsely billed, one whose base salary was $99,584.00 for over $6800 total in 2012/13. The other a Lieutenant with a base salary of$118.492.00 billed for overtime services $4,200.00+ over the same 2 year time period.

Let us not forget that by contract these officers receive health and dental insurance packages whose financial equivalent is the envy of all us taxpayers.  Yet they resorted to what in effect for them was penny larceny.

Could this have been the tip of an iceberg? The Director of Public Safety also acted as the civilian head of the Police Department of which for political reasons the post of Police Chief was abolished.

That individual not only was not a local resident during his 8 years but the later part of his term lived in another state. He also was not without scandal for which his punishment was a wet noodle whipping.

There had been indications of improper use of municipal funds and the lack of accountability. If Plainfield is unwilling to proceed with the needed audit; is there not a Federal or State agency that should take the lead.
Since elections are only a month away I am sure that none will want to rock the boat. It may be up to us voters.


TUESDAY'S REFLECTIONS



Some start to the week; Monday which was supposed to be as gorgeous as Sunday greeted us with a cloud cover that lasted all day with some rain in the evening.

At least that was the worst with nature locally. Conditions elsewhere in the States should make us happy that we do have New Jersey weather,   
California after a brief autumn spell is again having triple digit temperatures. The Southwest especially Arizona and parts of Texas have had heavy rains and flooding. Lake Tahoe area is drought ridden and the Truckee River that flows through Reno is no more than a trickle.

There has been early snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and flooding along the Gulf Coast especially in Florida’s panhandle.

There have been reports that the water temperature in Lake Superior is the lowest that it has been in decades. That may be an indication for an unusually bitter snowy winter in the mid portion of the nation and possibly here.

Nature capriciousness is something that we have no immediate control. The question that cannot be answered unequivocally is if our industrial pollution is causing global warming or even contributing to it.

Earth has gone through cycles of thousand year’s climate changes during its existence without our help. That has resulted in Glaciers expanding and contracting. There have been changes in sea levels even throughout human history. In the past Oceans have existed where there are now deserts.

The point is that we exist on a living and violent planet. There are probably multiple earthquakes daily in some part of the globe. Fortunately most of them are small, but frequently some cause heavy damage and loss of life. 


Volcano activity seems to have been greater this year. It may be a fact or a perception resulting from our capabilities for worldwide communication. Just in the last few months there has been eruptions in Iceland and in various parts of the Pacific ring of Fire including the on the Big Island.

Of course there this weekend’s one of Mount Ontake, in Japan .  The eruption of the 3,066m peak, 200km west of Tokyo, took place as the hiking site was packed with climbers, including children, admiring autumn foliage under a brilliant blue sky.

It was without warning, raining ash and stones on hikers,
At the latest count; 36 bodies have been recovered but toxic gasses are hindering any search.

None of the above affects our daily life in Plainfield. It may become more interesting since the November elections are a month away.


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