Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Decoding the curious conversation of Councilor Mapp and the CFO

How money is spent always seems to be a puzzle around here.
As the audience at last night's Plainfield City Council was eagerly looking forward to the end of a string of 55 or so resolutions, all of which passed unanimously, a curious conversation took place on resolution R 215-11, which concerned transfers of funds between various accounts, a practice allowed in the final two months of a municipality's fiscal year.

CFO Ron Zilinski was summoned to the mike by Council President Annie McWilliams to help answer questions concerning the transfers.

The whole matter had caught the Council's attention last month, when one of the items Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson brought up at the end of the meeting was a resolution for the funds transfer that included swapping money OUT OF the Recreation Division account. This raised eyebrows because the recent tussle to PUT MORE MONEY INTO the Recreation Division (see my post here).

By last week, the Administration's figures now had Recreation as the RECIPIENT of a transfer of $21,000, all of which set the stage for last night's conversation.

Pressed by Councilor Mapp as to why the $21,000 should be transferred to Recreation after the Council had previously expanded that budget line, CFO Zilinski said there was 'no stated reason' for the transfer.

With Mapp continuing to press, Zilinski said these were Trust Fund monies, which had to be spent on their dedicated use (Recreation) and that the transfer was being requested TO PREVENT MONIES BEING USED FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN THOSE TO WHICH THEY WERE DEDICATED.

While CFO Zilinski appears wanting to do the right thing, one only has to wonder what was going on with the trust account before Zilinski arrived on the scene.

Now, what could that mean?

Whatever it means, it seems likely that we would never have heard this curious exchange of words had it not been for Councilor Mapp's persistence.

At the end of the complicated rearranging of the swaps, Council President McWilliams shot a glance at the Clerk, asking 'Do you have that?'

Without missing a beat, Clerk AJ Jalloh replied, 'Of course, Madam President'.

At which point the audience burst into laughter.

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Rob said... are always so concerned with a $20,000 here and $20,000 there...Don't you realize the Mayor is so much bigger than this ?? We are all witnessing the financial mastermind at work. We are much too small to understand this and to even question it is beyond offensive.

Anonymous said...

The CFO has a reputation in this state which is beyond approach. Although,I am no fan of this Mayor people in this town need to either bring a criminal complaint to the Attorney General or just stop with the speculation.