The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Plainfield Councilor Burney gets ShotSpotter® situation wrong

Robinson-Briggs administration wants to withdraw
gunshot-detection technology proposal.

Plainfield Councilor Rashid Burney has gotten the ShotSpotter® technology proposal situation wrong.

Burney begins his Saturday blog post thusly --
In an email to the Council, City Administrator Bibi Taylor stated that the administration is withdrawing the bond ordinance that would have financed the shot spotter technology. This ends the foray into the shot spotter technology leaving the many unanswered questions moot. [Emphasis added -- DD.]
You can read the full post here.

I am amazed at the former Council President's failure to grasp the procedural matter correctly.

It is not within the Robinson-Briggs administration's power to 'withdraw' the bond ordinance at this point, as Olddoc has rightly pointed out (see his post here). Robinson-Briggs could have withdrawn the proposed ordinance up until the Council took it up for first reading at last month's business meeting.

Once the Council took it up, it is the Council's business, not the administration's. So, the Council has three choices for handling the bond ordinance now that the Robinson-Briggs administration wants to drop it. The Council can vote it down, vote it up, or table it and let it die.

The Council should not give up its prerogatives so lightly.

As for Burney's assertion the
ShotSpotter® matter is now moot, I don't think so.

City Administrator Bibi Taylor said at the last Council meeting the Robinson-Briggs administration was prepared to move forward to fund the project in three possible ways: the bond ordinance (which it now wants to drop), a straight budget-line item (dubious, considering the city's financial situation), and grants (which would not come online for up to two years).

According to discussions I am told are taking place within the Robinson-Briggs administration, it is the intent to CONTINUE TO PURSUE the
ShotSpotter® technology proposal THROUGH GRANTS.

Far from rendering this afternoon's citizen-driven community forum 'superfluous' as Olddoc suggests, the community will be well-advised to come out and hash out the issues the Robinson-Briggs administration's ill-thought-out proposal has raised, including not only the expense, but the effectiveness of the technology and whether there are alternatives to
ShotSpotter® that could be considered.

As for the Robinson-Briggs administration's apparent decision NOT TO PRESENT THE FY2011 BUDGET PROPOSAL Monday evening, I share Councilor Burney's concern that it not be delayed, but am stunned at his suggestion that the administration introduce it 'on any day in between [the two Mondays]'.

Once again, it is a matter of procedural propriety -- 'any day' is not possible, as there would have to be legal notice provided for the public meeting of the Council at which the budget would be introduced.

Though the matter is urgent, it is not an emergency, and ADEQUATE NOTICE would have to be provided.

A certain level of precision of expression ought to be expected of our Council representatives. It helps avoid misunderstandings.

Organized by West End Heights Homeowners

Sunday, October 3 | 4:00 PM

Clinton Elementary School
West 4th Street at Clinton Avenue
(Parking in Clinton Avenue lot)


Monday, October 4 | 7:30 PM

City Hall Library
The Public  is welcome and may speak at the end of the meeting.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Rob said...

IF in fact SRB were pursuing grants for this system.. I am shocked. Glad, but shocked.
Could she have found fiscal religion or at least a glimpse ???

Anonymous said...

LOL Damon. LOL!

What are people at the forum going to whine about? That we are NOT doing Shot Spotter?

Are they going to complain that we are NOT bonding $1M?


As Doc would say: Welcome to the land of OZ.

Blackdog said...

So in other words, the current administration wants to fund this project with monies that Plainfield will not have until they are out of office, many years from now.
My neighbors feel as though this Shot Spotter is nothing but a boondoggle and wonder why the only time they see a policecruiser or a policeman is about and hour after the first phone call!
Even when money generating parking tickets are given out it is done in the darkness when we are all asleep!
Basically, the only time I see the police , is when I go to the station!

Anonymous said...

If it's dead, let's move on.

Anonymous said...

Can this be Jerry's doing to arrange for additioanl time so that one of his vendor buddies can enter into the picture?

Anonymous said...

You should be somewhat happy you don't see the police in your Plainfield neighborhood. That means you live in a much safer area than others residents. The police are shortstaffed and accordingly go where the problems are. Think of it like the fire division, if there aren't any fires then you won't see them on your block.
Proactive patrols in all neighborhoods are a luxury Plainfield cannot afford!