Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Confidence in administration not bolstered by CIP, Skateboard Park issues

Administration's performance not exactly confidence-inspiring.

Confidence in the Robinson-Briggs administration's competence was not bolstered by its handling last night of issues around questions raised by the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) and resolutions concerning a Skateboard Park.

The CIP question, raised by Maria Pellum in researching the CIP for her blog and by Dottie Gutenkauf from the floor at public comment time, concerned the inclusion of $50,000 for a feasibility study of uses for the Muhlenberg Hospital campus/facilities in the CIP.

As Corporation Counsel Minchello noted during the Administration's answers to questions posed at last week's meeting, it was inappropriate for the study expense to be included in the CIP since the City does not own the Muhlenberg property. He added that the funding was moved by Mayor Robinson-Briggs to the Planning Division's regular operating budget for 2013, increasing a $10,000 allocation to cover the $50,000 line.

As for the Skateboard Park items (one for an engineering study for $7,815 and another for soil testing for $6,595), the Robinson-Briggs administration, in answering the previous week's questions, indicated the source of funding for these two items as 'US EPA grants'. Mr. Berry also noted that the resolutions in question (R 125-13 and R 126-13) would need to be amended when taken up in order to correct the funding information.

These are beginners' mistakes, and might be overlooked for a newbie beginning to deal with presenting matters for the Council's consideration. But the Robinson-Briggs administration is hardly in a 'newbie' position. In the old days, when a resolution was submitted to the Council, it used to include two signatures by the Administration: that of the City Administrator attesting to the validity of its form and content (including such things as source of funds), and that of the Corporation Counsel, attesting that the resolution passed legal muster.

So, here we are in the eighth (and hopefully, last) year of the Robinson-Briggs administration and items are still coming to the Council table in a loosey-goosey fashion. Add last night's revelations to the four items withdrawn by the Administration at the March agenda-setting session (see story here), and the overall result is not confidence-inspiring.

Plainfield deserves better. Hopefully, she will soon get it.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bob said...

Why are we surprised by Robsin-Briggs behavior, when she is so consistent at doing her job so poorly. The surprise is that she actually thinks the people of this city love her and want another four years of her bungling. I guess there's one born every minute.

Anonymous said...

Will Plainfield ever be able to come out from under all this Briggs/Green administration debt ? How much has Hellwig cost us in lawsuits ? Glad Captian Gilliam WON! Does Plainfield have 2 more lawsuits coming from the other 2 Captians that were done wrong? How much more are the citizens going to payout for Hellwigs afternoon out of town massage?

Anonymous said...

So SRB opens her campaign office next to Blackberry's...and the next thing you know, Blackberry's closes.

Ironic, to say the least!