Monday, October 26, 2009
Over the past several days, I have received many phone calls and other communications from residents concerning the state of Plainfield's finances and the management thereof. Most of these calls focused on recent revelations concerning the failure of the Robinson-Briggs administration to appoint a CFO, the duties of that office, the illegal useof an expired signature stamp on municipal checks in direct violation of state law, and the letter sent to the mayor and council from Susan Jacobucci, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services, demanding that the administration immediately stop this "improper" use of the signature stamp and appoint a CFO.
Other concerns had to do with the fact that, as of now, a budget for FY2010 has not been presented to the council for approval. The fear of a significant tax increase has been expressed by many property owners, some of whom are struggling to pay their mortgages, food bills, and increased utility (such as PMUA and water) rates.
It is against this backdrop that I have scheduled a Town Hall meeting for this coming Thursday, October 29, 2009 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Plainfield Public Library*. I am offering this opportunity to hear from a broader cross-section of residents and property owners about the many concerns they have.
Although taxes may be the main subject that residents bring up, it may not be the only one. Other matters that residents have contacted me about are the lax manner in which the current road repairs are being handled, lack of progress on the Muhlenberg situation, the Senior Citizens Center and Monarch project, and the disruption of a successful voluntary sports program, the Queen City Baseball League, by unilateral moves by the Robinson-Briggs administration to establish another league under the control of the Division of Recreation.
This is another in a series of Town Hall meetings that I will be hosting to provide residents with a forum to express their views on local municipal matters. All residents are invited to attend and participate by expressing their concerns and what they would like to see the City Council do about them. In addition, elected officials wishing to stop by to hear the people's concerns are invited to do so. Please come out and let your voices be heard.
The Plainfield Library is located at 8th Street and Park Avenue and is a handicap-accessible facility. Kindly park in the 9th Street lot, if possible.
P.S. Look out for Part Three of "The Mayor Dropped the Ball." It will deal more specifically with the illegal conveyance of city-owned property based on the Public Land and Buildings Law.
*This meeting will take the place of my regularly scheduled Thursday office hours.