Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Sunday, June 27, 2010

DumpPMUA to Council: Look at audits, unresolved issues

DumpPMUA's founder, Philip Charles, has sent an email to Plainfield City Council members in advance of Monday's meeting outlining some points he hopes the Council will take up with the PMUA's commissioners and senior staff.

I am reprinting the complete email below, but note that two important issues are audit recommendations (many of them repeats year after year) and the fact that the PMUA has still not implemented 'winter billing' for summer water usage -- which would remedy the problem of billing people for filling pools or running lawn sprinklers as though they were passing the water through the sanitary sewer system.

Here is the complete email, with a link to DumpPMUA's website, where you may find further documents and information --

I am requesting that you please make copies of the PMUA 2009 Audit available at this special meeting.  Year after year, some of the same corrective action items are stated.  No support documentation, inadequate / missing receipts, purchases in violation of LPCL, etc.  I encourage you to review the previous audits which are available on  As soon as the 2009 audit is made available to the public it will also be available on the website.

I encourage you to revisit the many questions you had with the PMUA a year ago:

  • Use winter months water use for yearly bills.
  • Survey all Union County towns for average sewer bills (Plainfielders pay nearly $600 per year; most others pay less than half that)
  • Put the "shared services" out to bid - It doesn't cost over $4 million to dispose of garbage at the parks and public buildings
  • Stop the business lunches, car allowances, limo service, floral arrangements, excessive cell phone bills, and trips unrelated to sewer or garbage.
  • Post bills listings, meeting agendas, and resolutions on website
  • Curb the consultants who bill $2-4k per day.
  • Reduce the excessive $200k per year lease of the Park Ave. building.
  • Appoint (no more than 5) commissioners who are willing to serve the public - not accept $14k in family medical benefits, $4.5k salary, and travel allowances.
As our elected officials, I encourage you to seek viable solutions to reduce the costs and pass the savings to the residents of Plainfield.  The PMUA's mission and creation ordinance stated, "The PMUA was created in 1995 to provide a stable and affordable solid waste operation and sanitary sewer service for the residents of Plainfield."  The rates charged are neither stable nor affordable.  They are significantly higher than surrounding Union County cities.  Since the PMUA essentially has a monopoly in Plainfield and pays 30% less to dispose of solid waste, their rates should be even more competitive.  Mismanagement, corruption, and greed have made an agency that was created with great intentions the thorn of Plainfield.  Property owners can no longer afford to live in Plainfield because they have a $1500 PMUA bill on top of their tax bill.
Thank you in advance for holding this meeting with the PMUA.


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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olddoc said...

I don't know what all the fuss is about not paying attention to audit findings. The PMUA management is the product of Plainfield's public works dept.Plainfield's admini9stration doesn't pay attention to recurring audit findings. That has been a recurent theme most of the past 20 years.

Bob said...

Like our mayor, the PUMA doesn't mind a lack of transparency or accountability. Let's hope the City Council takes steps to remedy this situation and the state audits the City so we know just how honest our mayor and her mentor are.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we need to hire a Consultant !!! Lets see we have gone through PMK, Schoor Depalma, Hagen, CMX, TM, there must be a new one out there who can give us a happy answer!!! After all the City gives them as much $$$ as they ask for !

Anonymous said...

If the residents of this city are not willing to question and verify that our fees and tax dollars are spent for the betterment of it's residents then we deserve what we get. Cheated and lied to by those entrusted to perform honestly in the positions to which they were hired for. However all they continue to do is gorge themselves at our expense again and again.

Anonymous said...

The meeting will have more of the same old... Watson citing how much fuel costs have contributed to increased costs; the non cooperation of the city and council in allowing trailers; the city is cleaner now - in 1995 there was rampant dumping, he and Ervin started working out of a van with 1 phone; 95% of employees are residents; many are 2nd chance citizens; litigation; if they could start pickups at 3am costs would be stabalized; PARSA is a pass through cost that eats up 23% of budget; they were getting sued by some rich white folks in Sleepy Hollow b/c of the sewer lines; the city didn't collect; when David Connolly and others don't pay they still have to collect; blah blah blah.

What he won't tell us is that his annual salary is $150k; he eats out 4 times a week on us; he goes on 4-7 conferences per year; he has a car allowance; gets 35 vacation / personal days;