The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

PMUA appointments occupy much of Council meeting

 
Nominations to the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority's board of commissioners took up much of Monday night's City Council meeting.

As Councilor Storch noted during the Council's public interviews of nominees Malcolm R. Dunn and Cecil Sanders, concerns about the PMUA are number one citywide behind concerns about violent crime.

So it is perhaps understandable that the interviews took up nearly an hour and a half, though they were considerably lopsided in the back-and-forth, with questions to Dunn taking up a far larger share than those to Sanders.

The Councilors' concerns came under several headings --

  • Rates and rate relief;

  • Improved PMUA income through marketing of shared services;

  • Suggestions the nominees have for improvements to the PMUA; and

  • Willingness of the nominees to subscribe to pay-to-play reforms that are in play.
Before the vote was (finally) taken, resident Alan Goldstein outlined campaign contributions by Dunn and the fact that Councilor Reid functions as treasurer for three campaign committees: Mayor Robinson-Briggs, Assemblyman Green and the Plainfield Democratic City Committee.

Reid responded that he was basically the 'bookkeeper' and not involved in raising or spending the funds.

When the votes went down, Dunn was confirmed by a vote of 5-2 (Storch and Williams voting 'nay'), and Sanders was confirmed by a vote of 4-3 (Storch, Williams and Council President McWilliams voting 'nay').

A longtime city employee remarked afterwards in the hallway that somebody ought to alert the PMUA commissioners that their days of crisp, 30-minute meetings were likely over.

At least for the foreseeable future.

 
-- Dan Damon [follow]

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