Tuesday, February 9, 2016

COUNCIL MEETING




The snow held off and would be Council President Taylor was once again absent from a Council meeting. Of course it was not important since the Agenda Fixing Session had suggested that it would be without controversy and that the Ordinances which Taylor had expressed reservations would be adopted.

There was spirited public comments about the Municipality issued ID Card Ordinance. It was pointed out that the Ordinances language was vague and could present problems. One item was the wording for identification; “one or more” followed by a list. The question was could more than one identification item be required at the whim of the issuer? Corporation Counsel Minchello state that it meant one was sufficient and that was all that would be required.

Another point raised was that there was no indication who would have responsibility for issuing the cards. Councilors Rivers and Tolliver mentioned that Angels in Action had been issuing an ID card for about 3 years and should be included in the process. A speaker for Angels in Action also elicited their experience as ground breakers.

City Administrator Smiley said that no decision had been made that it could be issued by “Vital Statistics” office,  the City Clerk’s Office, or Plainfield Action Services..He also mention ‘Angels in Action” would consulted as to procedures. Since this card will be an official document of the City it can only be issued through a City Agency.

The Ordinance was adopted on Second Reading by a 6:0 vote.
The other contentious Ordinance was once again up for first reading; the one about city requirements for paid sick days.

Although there was opposition expressed by many including Councilor Tolliver who abstained at the vote, about the negative financial impact it could have on small entrepreneurs and tax exempt agencies the Ordinance was adopted on First reading by 5 yes votes.

The rest of the meeting was routine with the exception of an amended Temporary Budget Resolution that added some $270,000.00 to include the year’s contracts with various legal firms. The Contracts were to be approved at this meeting and had not been allowed for in the earlier submission of the Temporary Budget.

The Temporary Budget itself is for the first three months of 2016 so reflects 1/4th of appropriations needed. However the legal contracts would be binding when approved for the entire year.

Of interest it is noted that the entire 2015 budget for the Corporation Counsel Office was $752.675.00 broken down into $370.075.00 for salary and wages and $382,600.00

This year’s request for the Temp.Budget totals $517.000.oo for the first quarter with only97K for salary and wages. Exterpol.ating that figure would bring the Salary and Wages appropriation up to $388,000.00 and the total for that office to $808,000.00 for the year. That is over 55K from 2016.

It should be of great interest to the public to learn how much legal costs including settlement of suits and compensation claims cost the city in 2015. We should also add in the yearly cost of the 4 million dollar wrongful conviction award.

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