Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Friday council meeting tackles temporary budget

Friday's special meeting is at 6 PM in City Hall Library.

Plainfield City Council President Bridget Rivers has set 6:00 PM Friday as the time for a special meeting of the council to consider the adoption of a temporary budget before a March 31 deadline. The meeting will be in the City Hall Library.

If the Council fails to adopt temporary funding beyond March 31, when the current funding runs out, the City will be forced to shut down.

While Rivers promised a deal would be struck in time, it is not certain that all the wrinkles will be ironed out.

A majority of the Council has balked at Mayor Mapp's intention to fund some parts of the city's operations more fully than for just the time period of the temporary budget. This seems a red herring to me since -- as Olddoc pointed out elsewhere -- unspent temporary budget allocations are cancelled out by the adoption of the final budget as amended by the Council.

Now that the administration's budget proposal has been accepted by the Council, it has until April 25 to amend and adopt a final version in order to meet the state's deadline in a timely fashion.

That seems unlikely, since Rivers has not seen fit to announce either the dates for public hearings on the budget or the appointment of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee -- and pointedly did not include either item in Friday's special meeting agenda.

Interestingly, the agenda does include two other items: a permit for a street procession for St. Mary's Church, and the rescinding of a resolution cancelling unexpended balances on capital funds. If I get it right, this is a step that the auditors have included in their findings for dog's years and should be a part of the Council's corrective action plan. So, what's the beef now?

The resolution for St. Mary's also intrigues me. Is it for their annual Good Friday procession, which in recent years has gone from the county office building plaza to the church? If so, Good Friday is April 18. Does this mean the Council is waiving its own requirement of timely advance notice for street closures and encroachments by these sorts of events?

Lastly, there are whispers that one of the council majority's members will not be present at Friday's special meeting. With only six members, and five votes needed on the temporary budget item -- and perhaps the capital item also -- how will the four from the majority try to win over Councilors Storch and Williams?

It will be an interesting meeting.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bob said...

Rivers was an inept Council President last year and seems to be on point this year. I guess she learned her lessons well from her buddy Sharon.