The needler in the haystack.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Plainfield officials land on AC's Baltic Avenue today


Baltic Avenue was one of the first properties on the Monopoly
board game, based on 1920s Atlantic City.

 
At least twenty-six Plainfield officials will land on Atlantic City's Baltic Avenue today for the 98th annual version of the three-day League of Municipalities Conference.

Fans of Boardwalk Empire would realize at once that this is not your 'Roaring Twenties' convention.

Though there are still plenty of the famed evening receptions hosted by elected officials and vendors trolling for business, the days are chock full of meetings, lectures and demonstrations -- all geared to bringing attendees up to speed on issues facing New Jersey municipal governments from Alpine to Wildwood, including Plainfield.

I was always fascinated by the exhibit hall, crammed with companies hawking their wares -- everything from software to manage a Recreation Department to the latest in parking revenue technology to bright, shiny cop cars and dump trucks. Something for everyone!

But the seminars and lectures are invaluable. Back in the days when Plainfield cared whether it was getting the most out of its franchise relationship with Comcast, we picked up valuable tips that helped the City's bottom line.

The Conference also provides opportunities for constitutional officers such as the City Clerk, Tax Assessor and Tax Collector to fulfill mandatory continuing education requirements.

Alas, though, the party atmosphere has fizzled dramatically compared to the 1920s -- or even to the 1990s. Time was when Plainfield used to pack off dozens and dozens of employees down to the level of clerk. It was a sign of being part of the 'in crowd' to get to go to the event.

Tighter budgets long ago trimmed those sails.

This year's expected attendees, besides Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and the City Council, include the Acting City Administrator, Corporation Counsel, City Clerk and the Planning Director. Ten of the twenty-six are from the Dept. of Administration and Finance.

Interestingly, despite City Council attempts to foil outgoing officeholders being able to junket on the taxpayers' dime, the outgoing mayor and one other retiring official appear to be on the city's tab.



-- Dan Damon [follow]


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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

THE MAYOR SHOULD PAY HER OWN WAY TO AC, SHE IS NOT GOING TO BE EMPLOYEED IN CITY BUSINESS UNLESS MR. GREEN HAS FOUND HER A JOB! I HOPE MR. MAP WILL BE ABLE TO CUT THE GREEN PUPPET STRINGS THAT HE HAS BEEN HOLDING ON THE PLAINFIELD MAYORS OF PAST.

Alan Goldstein said...

I know you're chomping at the bit for January 1st to come. You probably stay awake at night watching your countdown clock tick away the seconds. But would you not expect any mayor to attend the conference regardless of how much time is left in their term? You should dispense with the barbs already.

Of course, do as I say, not as I do.

PMUA is attending too. They've got a booth and they're hoping that Jon Bramnick is able to wheedle the governor to stop by. Commissioner Dunn made it clear about a half dozen times that each commissioner that attends the ethics seminars will count for a $250 discount off their Directors and Officers insurance. Maybe the insurer should reconsider and charge a premium instead.