Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, August 9, 2010

Robinson-Briggs wants $4.4M bond she originally spurned

Plainfield's City Council will take up a proposal by Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs to issue $4.4M in bonds which she once spurned.

The amount was originally approved by City Council in 2005 (as part of a larger $11M bond) for the Senior Center proposed by the administration of the late Mayor Al McWilliams.

After Robinson-Briggs took office in 2006, the project was dropped while the new mayor shopped for a developer. In 2007, Glen Fishman's Dornoch Plainfield LLC was selected to develop the Senior Center in a project that included market-rate luxury condos on the upper three floors.

Robinson-Briggs and her mentor, Assemblyman Jerry Green, took great pains to inform the public the project would be built at no expense to the taxpayers, and that the previously approved bond money would not be used.

In the event, the project was built, but costs to Plainfield's taxpayers -- not yet fully toted up -- include 13% of the building's maintenance costs.

The Robinson-Briggs administration also floated the idea of a tax abatement for buyers (in effect, an increased assessment for all other taxpayers) which was withdrawn after public outcry and has not been re-introduced.

Then there is the matter of the 'fitting out' expenses in excess of $250,000, the tab for which the Mayor wanted the taxpayers to pick up and about which the Council is still awaiting an accounting.

Seems the mayor has found a use for the 'found money' and is willing to saddle the taxpayers with the bond after all.

There's nothing like being flexible, is there?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Flexible like you are!