Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Friday, July 30, 2010

Did Robinson-Briggs administration break rules paying for July 4?

Plainfield's City Council has evidently been kept in the dark by Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs about lavish over-budget overspending on this year's July 4 activities which she has secretly paid for out of other accounts.

At least that is what I was told in the City Hall parking lot after Wednesday's special Council meeting by a resident who says an OPRA check of paid bills for July 4 expenses showed that the Robinson-Briggs administration overspent its budget by approximately one third.

The Council had budgeted $55,000 in the emergency appropriations adopted for the beginning of the new fiscal year in July.

The trick is to shift the item to another division or department's accounts and pay the invoice.

Two sets of questions arise: Why did the Recreation Division go over budget?, and What happens to other division's budgets if they are 'raided' in this way -- does it mean they had 'slush' in them, or will their budget priorities suffer from having funds snatched away in such a manner?

It's a helluva a way to run a city when the mayor can lay off a part-time employee who brings in grants that basically cover most of their expenses and instead blow a wad of $15,000 - $20,000 and have nothing to show for it.

Having a CFO on hand would make such hanky-panky harder to pull off -- if not impossible. That is one of the reasons having the state appoint someone may be of benefit to the taxpayers.

In the meantime, maybe the Council needs to ask the Robinson-Briggs administration to give an accounting.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

The council has done a good job of trying to make the mayor accountable - but trying is the operative word.

What can be done about this? Can the mayor be impeached? Can the State audit this and find the mayor in violation of laws?

It is evident that this mayor feels she is above it all. Come one people! Let's stand up and DEMAND that the mayor do her job - which is part time and kissing babies. Get her out of the day to day business - let Bibi do her job, and Plainfield will be a better place.

Dan said...

@ 7:27 AM -- An audit would be nice. The mayor cannot be impeached, but NJ does allow for elected officials to be recalled.

Tom said...

Recreation again? The director seems to have a sacrosanct position. He responds to no one and runs his division any way he wishes. ie: the youth baseball leagues, the naming of the field for Plainfielder Joe Black. I guess he and the Mayor are in cahoots and feel they can do anything they wish with taxpayers money.

Bob said...

Let's recall this shifty mayor immediatelly if not sooner. This act on her part to waste our money, not her's, is unconscionable and should be questioned and censored. Where do I sign to recall this waste of a mayor. How dare she!

Anonymous said...

Get real Dan - You are well aware that this is a common practice. There are many instances where, through the City Administrator's Office, that something is purchased and then charged to someone's Budget without the Division even knowing about it.

Anonymous said...

She loves to play games!( Her favorite called ENTITLEMENT ) I would rather have had a small,honest ( small budget ) 4th of July Parade than one that went over budget to buy crap for her friends to parade around! How much food did she buy? She could have spent that $20,000 to keep the Police employeed she laid off!! But I think she likes to be the ( self promoting ) QUEEEN B and feel entitled.

Anonymous said...

The KING of plainfield has created a monster QUEEN!!! The entitled Queen spends and does as she pleases. We need to call the State ** S O S ** our Plainfield City ship is sinking. It is so full of corrupt BS, I dont know if it will ever be able to come back up to the top again and sail a clean ship again.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is true that the only thing transparent is the lies that we are being told by the Administration. How do you explain over spending by such a great amount? and why are we still paying high amounts for food? which for July 4 ran 2,365.00? Also how do we explain the hiring of a new attorney who at first we were told was on a day to day basis but when the Opra results came in we found him to be a salaried employee who as Corporation Counsel states has no set hours and that's the reason he is never seen in the building. Come on who are we fooling with this type of behavior, we are being told we have to give or should I say have faith in the employees we hire to do what's right. How can we when we can't trust what the administration tells us from one day to the next. When we were younger there was a joke that if you want to win a case that you should hire a lier and that looks exactly like what we did.

Anonymous said...

Dan-We need to get the people out to council meetings. They also need to get out and VOTE!!! The citizens of Plainfield failed themselves by not comming out to VOTE, and let King Jerry Green run his green machine back into city hall. He has kept this city in poverty and corruption for far to long. The state need to come here and do an audit$$$ How much did the Mayor spend on food,flowers,fish tank in her office,gas out over $2.50 a gallon for her personal use? We need to cut her mayor budget to 000000. Let her buy her own food and gas. Just how much did she have to pay to get Rev Al here?