Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Should have stayed home and watched live a great ball game. GO ACC!!

The Council meeting was a disaster for me. Not only was the first hour devoted pro and con to Public Comments for the umpteenth time to the Ordinance about mandated paid sick time for employees in a business that has at least 10 employees.

I have always been under the impression that at public comment time that the Council’s own rules state that nonresidents must wait until all residents speak. However the first batch of speakers were nonresidents from town as far away as Trenton pushing their agenda. Almost every speaker was allowed an extra 5 minutes. If such a rule exists the Council President should always enforce it?

The ordinance up for second reading was moved to be placed on next Monday’s agenda with unspecified “amendments. Storch had offered three but I was unable to determine if the Councilors had accepted them. At least one was a substantial change lowering the threshold to 5 employees. I am not sure if it was he or Williams who suggested reducing the noncompliance penalty to $750.00, also a significant change.

Changes in an Ordinance up for second reading unless editorial constitute a change to a new Ordinance and should be reintroduced as such, but the again this Council does not believe in Parliamentarian procedures.

At the end of the business session the 2015 budget was introduced for the Council. As presented it represents a 12 cent (per thousand?) increase over 2014, or $174 for an average taxpayer.

Earlier a resolution hiring a consultant and also one appointing community members to a CBAC were approved for the agenda. I am not sure who will be on it since the Councilors were too often talking to themselves, however I did hear the name of Sharon Robinson-Briggs mentioned by Councilor Tolliver. Because of her demonstrated fiscal and budgetary experienced a good choice

Then began another long public Comment period by the owner of the Restaurant destroyed by the demolition. Somehow she and her backers had the impression that the City had stated that they would make up the cost of her loss and help reestablish her.

She has renters or continuation of business insurance and does not know how to proceed. Under the circumstances, she should receive help in this matter from the City. Everyone is pussyfooting around the possibility that the city could have major liability.

My bad evening continued with my losing my balance by my car in the parking lot and ending up in the ER to have two lacerations over my left eyebrow and a large hematoma closing my left eye. Blogging will be limited this week since besides being one eyed I had been to the orthopedist that morning due to pain in my left shoulder and inability to lift my arm above that level. Since I have restricted motion in y right arm from an older rotator cuff injury I am also having trouble in daily activities. We will work on it.


  1. You can't be serious that a council person talked about Sharon's demonstrated fiscal and budgetary experience!!!!

    Sharon is the reason why Moody's DOWNGRADED the city in 2011. She cost the taxpayers money, because we had to pay more interest because of the downgrade.

    Another example of politics in Plainfield with people who haven't a clue what they are doing as being part of the council.

    In case the councilperson doesn't know it, it was THIS mayor who has the fiscal and budgetary experience and got Plainfield UPGRADED by Moody's.

    For those who do not understand what that means (and I hope the council members are reading this), it means that Moody thinks we have our fiscal house in order now. So, we do not have to pay as high an interest rate as when Sharon was in office.

    Doc, I am sure you heard "because of Sharon's LACK of budgetary and fiscal experience". She almost ruined this city financially. Please folks, know what you are talking about.

    1. No the budgetray etc was my comment , take it as cynical.

    2. There was no discussion about the former mayor's budgetary experience. Her name came up only as a point of information that 3rd Ward Councilwoman Gloria Taylor, who was absent from last night's meeting, had chosen her for the CBAC. Diane Toliver had nothing to do with it.

    3. Thanks Alan as I noted I was having trouble hearing since too much of the Councilor's time was spent in what seemed to be a private discussion, and I rhought the sound had come from the left side

    4. Is it my imagination or does Ms. Taylor miss an awful lot of council meetings - Agenda Fixing and Regular sessions? I thought she was retired - is she too busy to do the job that she was elected to do? I could be wrong on this but seems every other time I read a blog it says she wasn't in attendance.

    5. I have a similar observation although I haver been told that she has a legitimate excuse. Non the less my impression is that she may feel that the Agenda Fixing Session does not need her input.

  2. If SRB's name were ever mentioned with the words "budget", I'm hoping it would be in the realm of "what not to do fiscally".
    I hope you are starting to feel better Doc...

  3. Based on the documents available it is evident that the contract, if it can be called that, between the City and Yates for the North Avenue demolition consists of the Yates letter form of proposal and the DPW letter signed by Eric Watson authorizing Yates to proceed with the work. A formal contract, that is a contract containing all of the customary terms and conditions typically required, does not exist. That this should have ben permitted to have occurred is either the product ignorance or design. A proper contract would have contained, amongst other things:
    1. A description of the scope of the work and the manner in which was to be performed. The latter would have included the admonition that the demolition could NOT BE performed with a head ache ball,. crane, and by inference any other dynamic method, given the proximity of adjacent structures. Rather that the demolition must be performed by hand.
    2. The payment terms would have been specified, The periods at which payment applications should be submitted, the period within which the payments, once approved by a review by designated authority, would be paid; the amount which would be retained from progress payments, and finally, the time when the retainer would be released ( paid). after final approval of the work.
    3. Perhaps most important the requirements for the insurances to be provided by the Contractor. The Contractor should have been required to provide: Statutory Workman Compensation, and third party General Liability insurance. The latter policy insures anyone not working on the project against personal injury, including death, and property owners from damages to their property resulting from the work. It is doubtful that Yates could have , or can , qualify for any of these policies given the fact that they have no experience in demolition, or even heavy construction.
    The absence of these fundamental conditions, and the insurance they would have produced; puts any claims that may arise in the twilight zone. Clearly, the City's egregious omission of these stipulations puts the City in the crosshairs of a lawsuit. Yates has apparently responded to a post demolition request by the City to provide these insurances. Yates has responded by saying that they have made an application to their Insurance Agent. I do not believe any Carrier is going to predate their policy and insure an accident after the accident has occurred. There is some chance that B & B Demolition, Yates subcontractor, carries a policy. The City has no contractual nexus to B & B. The City would be compelled to sue Yates, and Yates could then file a cross complaint against B & B. Pending a resolution of this mess, and pending an investigation regarding the propriety of the award process, it is hoped that the City declines to make any payment.
    It is further suggested that the City retain a law firm whose specialty is construction law. This firm can at once investigate the propriety of the award procedure and at the same time administer the Yates "contract", and removal of the remaining debris. It should be noted that not all of the original building has been demolished. Attorneys competent in this field are not inexpensive, but the complexity of this case warrants a specialist. An experienced attorney may save money in the long run. Bill Kruse

  4. My advise to the owner of the restaurant that was damaged by the demolition, with regard to the City offering to help, is to reply as follows:

    If you really want to help me, don't help me.

    Get a good attorney and file a suite. You have an open a shut case. Almost any attorney would be pleased to accept a case like this on a contingency bases. That is, you will not be required to pay him unless the suite is successful at which time he will take a percentage of the recovery when it occurs. I is even possible that in addition to your damages you will be able to recover the attorney's legal fees. You are not equipped to bargain against the City attorney without your own legal representation.


  5. 3:57pm Ican not post a comment that is in Spanish- I do not read it and this column is in English which you obviously read.and I must assume is the language of my readers.

    1. Add to 3:57 reply- I believe that your comments were stated as part of the 3:47 report. Am I right?