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Friday, October 2, 2009

Mapp hits a nerve on missing Monarch documents

ome in Plainfield grouse about Councilor Mapp's style.

I think time would be better spent on the substance of the questions he raises, particularly with regard to the Monarch condos.

(I am NOT talking about the exchange between Mapp and Council President Burney on whether or not an Executive Session last week would have been in violation of the Sunshine Law. For that, you can read Burney here and Mapp here.)

No, I'm talking about the SUBSTANTIVE issues Mapp raised, namely that the Mayor appears to have failed to execute the documents necessary for the whole Monarch project to move forward.

Mapp's bill of particulars runs as follows (see original post here) --
1) Resolution 281-06, adopted on June 21, 2006, that required Mayor Robinson-Briggs to execute an agreement with the UCIA; and

2) Resolution 402-06, adopted on August 23, 2006, amending the original resolution and requiring the Mayor to execute another agreement with the UCIA. The following facts are critical to this discussion:

The Inter-local Service Agreement (ILA) between the City and the UCIA, which was part of Resolution 281-06 that was to be executed by the Mayor and attested to by the City Clerk, was never executed.

Resolution 402-06, which made reference to an ILA dated July 05, 2006, in its first paragraph was flawed because no such properly executed ILA exists;

Resolution 402-06 attempted to amend resolution 281-06 to add the Monarch city-owned site to the sites intended to be controlled by the UCIA, but this amendment, which was required to be executed by the Mayor and attested by the City Clerk was never executed.

In summary, none of the agreements between the City and the UCIA in its role as the city's redevelopment agency were ever executed.
If these documents cannot be produced, the whole Monarch development project is in a tremendous pickle, all hinging on whether the city actually conveyed the property on which the condos sit to the UCIA. Flowing from that is the issue of the basis for loans by banks to Dornoch Plainfield.

The Council alone, as the corporate body of the City, can alienate (sell) public property. It can only take action through a written document which it formally, publicly approves (in this case a Resolution).

How does anyone know the decision of the Council has been effected? A copy of the resolution, noting the governing body's adoption and date thereof, must be signed by the Secretary to the Governing Body (in this case, the Municipal Clerk) and the Mayor, the city's elected chief executive.


Has he hit a nerve?

I think so.

In checking the site traffic statistics for CLIPS (with a link to Councilor Mapp's blog post) on the day of Mapp's Monarch piece, I noticed a spike. Looking closely, it appears that the number of readers of the Mapp post was 320, approximately FIVE TIMES the number Councilors usually get when CLIPS highlights their posts.

Who could be so interested in this item?

Could it be the principals involved: City officials and legal counsel? the UCIA and its legal counsel? developer Glen Fishman/Dornoch Plainfield and legal counsel? lenders to Fishman/Dornoch?

Somehow, I don't think this is the last we will hear of this matter.

It would be well to pay attention to Mapp's substance and not his style.

-- Dan Damon

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active citizen said...

You have to appreciate Councilor Mapp. He's not afraid to ask the good questions, especially since we know this mayor does "drop the ball" regularly. Those of us who were asked of the mayor, six weeks ago, to be tenant association chairs have not yet received the information she promised to email us and I haven't received an answer to an email I sent about that subject two weeks ago.

The citizens of Plainfield really need to consider whether we want four more years of this. I'm a died in the wool democrat, but can't vote for Sharon.

Anonymous said...

The mayor asked people personally to be tenant association chairs? Isn't that something tenants should decide themselves?

Anonymous said...

It will be resolved Dan, unfortunately the Lawyers, UCIA, Enginners and Advisors will all get PAID extra to sort it out, so who is the fool here ? Once everyone has made a good buck, then the whole thing can go bankrupt and all will read about it at their Summer Homes come 2010.

Anonymous said...

Selling the properties on a negotiated, non-competitive developer agreement basis to Dornoch was not done according to state law. Since the lots were owned by a public agency (ultimately the UCIA - a public agency),based upon the New Jersey Local Land and Public Buildings law, surplus publicly-owned property must be sold to the highest bidder at auction or by sealed bid. The only exception that would allow a non-competitive negotiated agreement is if the properties were designated to be in a redevelopment zone. Only one of the total assemblage was in a redevelopment plan; this designation does not transfer to the rest of the lots. (They must also go through the extensive process.)

Anonymous said...

It's funny how quiet the mayor has been on a number of fronts. She was a no show for the Corzine event in her own city and she refuses to answer questions put to her by other elected officials and residents. Neither she nor corporation counsel or the city administrator have answered any of Mapp's questions. Look at how evasive Dashield was to the questions Mapp asked that came directly from the residents and taxpayers who attended his August town meeting. My fear is that they will go to any lengths to cover their screw ups regarding the Monarch. There's no way that any of the council can go forward with this abatement or anything else until the legality of the deal is worked out.

Anonymous said...

If these agreements were authorized by the City Council, isn't it the City Clerk's role to follow-up and ensure an official agreement is on file with all necessary signatures??? Just what is the process for executing a contract or agreement once the Council approves it?