Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Somehow Tuesday became a lost day; perhaps still part of the body adjustment to the time change. I had intentions of writing a blog either (a) about the letter by the 57 Republican Senators, or (b) more on the Council meeting, or (c) is the Plainfield BOE an integral part of the city or is it a world unto its own? Time passed and none of the above became fact.
Thus at this late hour I am returning to amazing Council Business Session in which all action business was accomplished in less than an hour without a single comment or negative vote about any of the Ordinances or Resolutions including the unanimous passing of one approving an audit of Public Safety and Urban Development.
Perhaps it was the non-presence of Councilors Taylor and also Brown that contributed to such a harmonious session, we will never know.
But I was reminded of this comment to one of Bernice’s blogs over a year ago in which the writer was referring to Councilor Reid’s objections to many of Mayor Mapp’s request for funds or actions: “Time for some updated thinking on the council - will take anything post 1950 at this point. The man loves to say things like "the city has been around for XYZ years and we existed just fine without this and that" - he would have been great at the turn of the century, "i don't know why we need any roads, horses have been walking on dirt for hundreds of years just fine cars should do the same". The city has been steadily losing ratables for a decade, that impacts the taxes paid by individual homeowners. In order to reverse the ratables trend we have to greatly increase development. It would appear that the Mapp administration is thinking about it like a business and including a marketing campaign in the effort to promote the city. We are competing with other towns and we have to promote our city and draw developers and businesses to the area. We coule do it without marketing but it will likely take longer and the ratables issue is too important to not address. We have to remember that we are competing with other municipalities for development many times - we have to up our game and spend a little money to "make" a little money.” (this is verbatim)
For most of last year and up to Monday night that negativism has been the mantra of five members of the Council. Any progressive move has been blocked most often without any adequate explanation.
I am a firm believer that any "no" vote should be accompanied by an explanation. The people deserve to know why their represenative found the "question" unacceptable.
Attempts to correct fiscal irregularities in the past up to the statue of limitations have been rejected as a waste of money; “what happened in the past is done, and we must go forward”. I am sure that if those who have preached this philosophy had money or goods stolen from them; they would want to recoup the funds and punish according to the law the individuals responsible. Why is Plainfield’s funds different especially when the council has on an annual basis been reminded of uncorrected control deficiencies?
Many would be progressive actions by administration have been rejected not because they did not seem to offer anything new but because somebody is going to get a job.
It is time that (1) The Administration presented an overall plan for the City’s future; not piecemeal segments, and (2) The Council exerts its independence and fiduciary responsibilities to act on the merits of the proposals.