Tuesday, March 14, 2017
ABOUT COUNCIL MEETING #1
Both the weather and the Council meeting lived up to or better yet down to earlier presumptions. With storm projections it is always better to err on predicting a worse scenario than what actually happens. However, the Council meetings should as this one did run true to form.
The third Mayor candidate continues to use her own forum for her candidacy, whereas both Rivers and the Mayor try to exploit the Council meetings.
Last night Rivers was relatively muted in her objections to the Taxi Cab penalty Ordinance (2017-10) which was adopted by a 5:2 vote after an extra-long public comment period in which the same past three meetings arguments were again repeated.
The fact that this Ordinance ONLY added another more severe penalty to the existing one seems to have been lost. What should have been addressed is a review of an outdated Ordinance and to replace it with one that reflects today’s area’s demographics as well as the changes in methodology of getting a ride. We are in a cell phone society and the present Ordinance does not take into account that Uber is not a cruising Taxi service but summoned by call. Nor that our professional and shopping services are outside of Plainfield. Or is the formula adequate for a population that today may be more dependent on “cabs”? Does the present code enforcement apply to the so called gypsy cabs?
As expected Anne Robinson’s excellent presentation of how and why the Library handled its disposal of some of its art treasures was aimed at the Administration’s desire to sell the Bierstadts. However, the Library’s treasures were being stored in a vault that when checked had “standing water”. The Library had no other facility to adequately protect objects that for various reasons could not be on public display. Their sale was permitted after establishment of a trust specifically dedicated for improvements to the Library.
Whereas the argument that there is no protection from vandalism could be valid so is one against suicide bombings. There are certain inherent risks that are always present and one must do the best to negate. The paintings have been on display or years except for a short that period under, please pardon this expression, “racist pressure” and political expediency they were removed.
It is also true that to have proper insurance on the two paintings would be extremely expensive. However the City has never insured the paintings carrying them under a phantom self-insurance line. Yet Corporation Counsel was unable to answer why it was in September 2016 that a decision for three appraisals “for insurance purposes” were obtained in October. In fact one was labeled for ‘”private sale".
In reply to questions why the first that the public and presumably the Councilors were aware of the plan to sell the paintings was a month ago when the Mayor announce his plan to use the proceeds to fund his ‘Plainfield Promise” pie in the sky; the Council Corporation Counsel’s stated that the Council was informed at the January “Executive Session” of the plan to sell the paintings, the sale”.
That was at least three months after the wheels had been set in motion.
Corporation Counsel did say that the the Feb.24 Court Action to have the trust altered to permit the sales had been withdrawn.