Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, June 20, 2011

Council tonight: PMUA Task Force appointments; Liquor license hearings

Plainfield's 1917 City Hall, an exemplar of the 'City Beautiful' architectural school.
Liquor license issues and appointment of the PMUA Task Force are on the Plainfield City Council's full agenda tonight, which also includes several new items not discussed last week.


I cannot recall the Council having sat separately as the local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board for several years, but it seems they will do so tonight.

That is a sign that serious issues are on the table in the renewal of several local liquor licenses.

Besides some bars about which the Robinson-Briggs administration has questions, Councilor Storch has insisted that some retail outlets also be subject to the hearing process.

While most social club, consumption (restaurant, bar and night clubs) and distribution (liquor stores) licenses will be renewed without fuss, there are some licensees who have had repeated problems over the past year, including fights, drugs, sales to minors and repeated calls for police presence.

Holding ABC renewal hearings gives the Council, which is the local licensing authority, its only chance to put some real squeeze on licensees whose calls on the police are excessive and whose operations verge on being a public nuisance.

This should prove an interesting portion of tonight's business, and give a window into a part of Plainfield life of which many Plainfielders are unaware.

The Council discussed making these appointments at last week's agenda-setting session. Though it does not appear on the agenda, I am guessing that is an oversight.

My recollection is that after Mayor Robinson-Briggs suggested she be given a seat, the Council decided to stick to its original plan: a COUNCIL-APPOINTED task force, with one member for each Council seat.

While it is a Task Force, and has no formal authority to compel any changes, the very fact that the Council feels it is necessary attests the intensity of feelings around the matter of the PMUA, its cost structure, the refusal of the Commissioners to honor certain items in the establishing interlocal services agreement (regular meetings with the City Council, for example), and what kinds of options the Council,as the enabling body, has.

There are some residents who have taken a rather simplistic view that the only issue with the PMUA is getting rid of its solid-waste collection monopoly, but the agency has other components for which the City would ultimately be responsible (sanitary sewers, for instance) that make it prudent to examine all the issues and all the possible means of resolution.

The Task Force will have four months from its initial meeting to submit a report with any findings and suggestions to the Council.
It's going to be an interesting, though probably long, evening.

Plainfield City Council
Business Meeting

Monday, June 20
8:00 PM

Council Chambers/Municipal Court
Watchung Avenue at East 4th Street
(Parking on the street and in the lot across from Police HQ)

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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kewiesterrock said...

This should prove to be an interesting part of tonight's business and to become part of life in Plainfield, many of which Plain fielders do not know of a window.

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