While the Plainfield City Council is preoccupied dealing with the boobytrapped budget the Robinson-Briggs administration delivered to it after the state's budget-filing deadline, the clock is ticking on other items which Robinson-Briggs and the Council have on their plates before the current Council's session passes into history on December 31st.
Not especially well-known for multi-tasking, Robinson-Briggs and her hand-picked City Administrator, Marc Dashield, may remind readers of a certain age of Lucy and Ethel's misadventures as wrappers in the chocolate factory (see episode excerpt here), where the duo show their inability to cope with the chocolates moving along on a relentless conveyor belt.
On Robinson-Briggs' and Dashield's 'conveyor belt' at the moment are three unresolved issues on which the Council has expressed sharp questioning of the Administration --
DUDLEY HOUSEThese are just a few of the 'chocolates' coming down Robinson-Briggs' and Dashield's assembly line.Since last Spring, the Council has wanted to see the handoff of this longtime drug rehab program by year's end to a licensed entity which is financially capable of taking over. Dashield has engaged in an unending shuffle -- averring that negotiations are under way (though he is always vague about what state they are in), bringing up yet another contender in November, probably pushing a resolution into 2010.CERTIFIED FINANCIAL OFFICERRobinson-Briggs is under a state order to fill the state-mandated position, which has been vacant for 23 months, with a certified CMFO. Questions still swirl about the legality of Dashield's use of signature stamps on checks issued during this period. Robinson-Briggs may find she does not have a friend in the Statehouse if she doesn't get this issue resolved before Chris Christie takes office on January 19th.CENSUS 2010Are Assemblyman Green and Mayor Robinson-Briggs purposely undermining the Census 2010 effort, as some aver? Getting a census figure of 50,001 residents would mean that Plainfield would get its CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) monies DIRECTLY from HUD. For decades, Plainfield has had to suffer the indignity of monies generated for the programs by virtue of its economic profile going to other Union County communities whose profiles would not generate the same level of revenues. All under the watchful eye of a committee said to be attentive to the desires of 65 King Street. Robinson-Briggs has given little evidence of having an actual plan for success. The question is whether it is run-of-the-mill incompetence or the more insidious conspiracy theory. In any event, the Council wants answers.
Can you envision how OUR Lucy and Ethel are handling them?
-- Dan Damon [follow]