Tuesday, October 6, 2015
MONDAY NIGHT'S MEETINGS #1
The public portion of last night’s Council meetings played to an overflowing Court Room. Physically present was Rivers, Greaves, Toliver and Williams. Brown and Storch were on speaker phone, Brown who had difficulty hearing only participated in the open Executive Session.
Most of the ‘crowd were there for the Planning Board hearing, a few were interested in the School Crossing Guards discussion on their reimbursement. It appears that the raise that they had received according to that give union employees amounted to 22 cents/hour. They work on a full five day week approximately 15 hours. In the abbreviated discussion City Administrator Smiley announced that they were going to receive a $1.00/ hour raise across the board.
The major time was devoted to the planned outsourcing of the Planning Division which has been covered by Bernice this morning and my comments will follow in another posting.
The Council zoomed through the Ordinances and Resolutions on the agenda for consideration at next Tuesday’s meeting; Monday being a holiday.
Only in Oz would a Council by a 3:1 vote of those physically present reject and resolution for a 5year lease with a $1 buyout of a new phone system that would unit all of the city’ phones including Police and Fire departments at a total cost of $458916.88. Although Ron West Director of Administration and Finance explained that there would be a saving over the present unfinished defective system that had been authorized during the previous Administration, Council President Rivers was adamant in her objections and would not let Public Safety Director Riley of Public Affairs and Safety explain why the his Department wanted this system.
I am still bewildered why this same group of Councilors approved for inclusion a resolution authorizing a final payment of $129000.00 to Yates Real Estate Inc. for the demolition of117-125 North Ave. Corporation Counsel Minchello explained that this was a compromise from what was owed per the original contract and would save the City Litigation costs. This is despite the fact that after the collapse for Yates did not do any further work at the site and had been paid I believe 75K for “its work to that date”.
Since Yates did not complete the terms of its contract, I would have thought that it was in breach of that contract and any litigation would so find.
The threat of litigation costs should not be not a valid reason for a “compromised” payout. This is the same type reasoning that the PMUA used to award 1 million dollars to the officials who had quit voluntarily and had not been terminated without cause.
Once again the fish seem to determine what the Council approves.