The needler in the haystack.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Time for PMUA commissioner perks to go?

 
Is it time for the cash stipend and ratepayer-funded health benefits for Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority commissioners to go?

As Gov. Christie zeroes in on waste, fraud and abuse in New Jersey's many public authorities (just today there were reports about the Passaic Valley Water Commission and the North Jersey Water Supply Commission), one item that should be looked at in Plainfield is the $4,500 annual stipend for PMUA commissioners, plus the health benefits for each -- which can run over $12,000 per commissioner annually.

When all other Plainfielders who give their time in public service do so COMPLETELY GRATIS -- without stipends or health benefits -- it seems only fair to ask on what grounds PMUA commissioners should be treated differently.

As a result of notorious abuses in the past, public housing authorities are no longer allowed to give their commissioner cash stipends.

Plainfield's Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment members -- who put in hours that are much longer and more detail-oriented and with meetings that are publicly contentious with great regularity -- do so entirely without any financial consideration.

Wouldn't it be better for PMUA commissioners to serve out of a sense of duty only, and with every suspicion that the seats are awarded as perks to friends and supporters of Mayor Robinson-Briggs and Assemblyman Green left utterly groundless by free public service freely offered?

This is a topic that could certainly be discussed to great public benefit when the Council and the PMUA finally get down to their long-delayed joint meeting.



-- Dan Damon [follow]

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14 comments:

Bob said...

How do I get to be a commissioner. Plainfield has so much waste and after laying off so many city workers, how can we justify the perks for the PMUA commissioners. If these perks are not put in check, then we need to vote out the people who allowed them to continue.

Anonymous said...

I think it's obvious to most of us, that most of the folks who hold positions in which they receive stipends and benefits would resign from their post if they were stripped of their stipend and benefits!

That would make room for those who are genuinely interested in serving their community, and allow this City to prosper.

LET'S DO IT ! STRIP THEM DOWN !

This would be the best "strip" show ever!

Anonymous said...

I think it's obvious to most of us, that most of the folks who hold positions in which they receive stipends and benefits would resign from their post if they were stripped of their stipend and benefits!

That would make room for those who are genuinely interested in serving their community, and allow this City to prosper.

LET'S DO IT ! STRIP THEM DOWN !

This would be the best "strip" show ever!

Anonymous said...

It's absurd that these commissioners, who do nothing but rubberstamp whatever the PMUA management put in front of them, receive valuable health benefits in addition to a stipend. After we get rid of the perks, let's focus on PMUA management. How is it that the PMUA hasn't reduced its workforce while everywhere else people are being laid off and payrolls are being reduced through attrition? How is it that PMUA management give themsselves and staffers raises every year? Why hasn't the PMUA taken any steps to reduce costs to customers? I hope Gov. Christie looks into this patronage agency.

Anonymous said...

and while their at it. . . maybe the Council should eliminate the meals that are purchased for them by the PMUA. Most recently Council President Annie McWilliams and Councilor Rivers. And past meals for Bill Reid and Jerry Green.

They all accept these meals and perks on the backs of Plainfield's working poor. Shame on them!

and while their at it. . .take away Eric's Watson bottomless expense account and over inflated salary package.

and while their at it. . . just get rid of Watson and his team. They all are stealing from Plainfield's economically challenged families.

and while their at it. . . .run someone against Storch, who recently voted for the status quo on the PMUA with his vote for Rev Tracy Brown.

I cannot believe that we the residents of Plainfield let this happen. Shame on the Council, shame on the PMUA.

EGA BARAG

GB said...

For clearity, do PARSA, UCUA & MCUA {which is where the sewerage goes} get perks ??

Anonymous said...

The stipend is not a perk -$400/month, any more than than compensation is for sitting on any other corporate board. And what about the Housing Authority perks. This is all crabs in the barrel BS.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the PMUA commissioners are a bunch of greedy bums who want their commission, their money and to spend as little time on the commission as possible.

They do nothing to represent and listen to voice the people (who pay for their benefits and commission pay).

They are a bunch of rubber stampers who couldn't think for themselves if they wanted and are afraid of losing the benefits, I think, more than the pay.

Throw them all out!!!

Anonymous said...

Dan,

Great observation! It must be nice to have connections.

PMUA Needs to GO! said...

These perks needed to be abandoned long ago. The creation ordinance only included the $4500 stipend. The commissioners later approved the full health benefits. It's quite obvious that all of them are only in it for themselves. If they weren't they would have refused the health bennies! $12k * 5 is $60k a year which means we have paid upwards of $1 MILLION for family health bennies for people who "work" 3-5 hours a month. What's worse is our esteemed council allows it to happen.

Ari said...

Dan- Good blog again! I wanted to share with you and your readers something I found quite interesting. It appears that the PMUA is actually news outside of Plainfield.
http://mp1219.blogspot.com/2011/02/nfbpa-08-cost-city-18-82587.html

is a blog from Georgia. It appears that the author of the blog found Dumppmua when researcing the NFBPA and the perks that his local officals receive. He even has a picture of Carol Brokaw on his blog. This issue is getting mighty interesting and has taken a life of its own. It is incredible to me that the PMUA officials and City officials do not take this more seriously. Someday they will be in for a rude awakening. I just hope it doesn't become another reason for people to look down on Plainfield.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that as long as the new dems had a majority on the PMUA board none of them questioned the salary and perks. Now that the new dems aren't in control the questions are being raised. Coincidence of course.

dr. e=mc2 said...

It is amazing that Jerry Green can only offer vitriolic and absurd meandering. He is an embarrassment and an absolutely unintelligent human being. It is ridiculous to mislead the public with duplicitous statements such as, "the city council runs Plainfield". Does he really think we believe the "stuff" he is selling? He has made inane comments and has voted against the city he claims to represent. He voted and the abbott school funding formula. He sold us down the river with his support for vouchers and charter schools. This guy is a buffoon and it is time for him to retire!

Anonymous said...

@ 8:33 who cares about new dems vs old dems. That argument s old and played out. Put an end to the excessive abuses at the PMUA!