Sunday, October 11, 2015

CONCERNING TUESDAY'S AGENDA




My first look at the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting with the exception of the Corporation Counsels new items and the reintroduction of the resolution for upgrading the city’s telephone network seems unchanged from the results of the Agenda Fixing Session.

The resolution regarding the lease-purchase new telephone system was rejected at the agenda fixing session without any explanation valid or fancied. Perhaps it is a good thing that the nay voters do not have to explain their reasoning. An explanation might cause questioning about their understanding the fiduciary responsibilities of their office which includes reading and understanding the resolutions and ordinances on which they are voting. Perhaps however some Councilors are charged with defeating anything positive that Administration might propose.

All of this highlights the fact that two resolutions which the Council approved to be placed on Tuesday night’s agenda will give insight into the honesty of Plainfield’s governance’

The first one is the severance plan for those in the Planning Division. Yes, it is only a proposal but to approve it will give Administration to leeway to proceed on a course that can only be destructive for Plainfield.

Administration failed to show specifically how outsourcing would save money. Smiley and Watson only gave generalities not any specifics as to actual costs and services to be provided. In fact Watson said that the same availability of today would be continued. A review of the bids as copied in Bernice’s blog shows a discrepancy.

One lists 153 hours per month total at $19458.00 per month which would be a base of 233496 yearly. How could a total of 40 hours a week be anywhere equal to the weekly time spent by three full time and one over twenty part time employees? The others appear to be similar in limitation of actual hours and location.

Why the Green block Councilors approved this Administration’s plan is unexplainable unless it was because this seems to be Watson’s baby. Indeed one of only two public speakers who favorite outsourcing Planning was Watson’s “friend” Yates who has problems with Planning.

The other resolution which the council majority placed on the agenda awarded that Yates of Yates Realty Inc. $129000.00 as a final payment on the botched North Ave building destruction.

Corporation Counsel Minchello’s argument for paying this “adjusted amount was that it would save the City the costs from probable litigation. No one questions if Yates has a legitimate claim since he did not finish the job, and in fact will probably cost the city many more dollars in legal fees and out of pocket expenses as the result of the damage caused by improper practices.

But this is a recommendation from Watson whose awarding of the contract has led to questions regarding the selection of Yates who has had no experience in tearing down large old buildings especially those of the common wall era.

Alan Goldstein has tried to OPRA the supposed four invoices mentioned by Watson that are the basis of this payment. As of Saturday morning they apparently were unavailable, or could they be nonexistent?

If the Council approves this payment perhaps “Quid pro quo” Taylor will get her “quid”**

Isn’t it ironic that this week’s mayor’s email message talks about transparency; something hard to find from Smiley and Watson at Council meetings.

**quid. One pound (100 pence) in British Sterling (GBP). Can refer to the actual denomination (a goldish looking coin, about a centimetre and a half across)

1 comment:

  1. The OPRA request contains zero support for the additional invoices or money due to Yates. It does contain the invoice for Yannuzzi which was hired to clean up the mess left by Yates and Eric Watson. It also contains invoices from Remington & Vernick for its most recent involvement with the demolition, although not for the original report presented on February 2nd. For those who wonder about the add-on costs likely to be generated by a Planning Consultant if there is approval for the layoff plan, one needs only to see R&V's $10,000 in partial billing for the demolition to imagine how quickly such costs can add up.

    The OPRA response can be viewed at this link:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-51dYlart-_SWVZcnpSc1B5Snc/view?usp=sharing

    The only Yates invoice (for $75,075 covering all work completed before it was stopped) can be seen here:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-51dYlart-_cWtZczlUZkVOQ3c/view?usp=sharing

    Thus far the Mapp administration has offered nothing to support its hoped-for, and very questionable, payment of $129,000.

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