Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Sunday, March 16, 2014

PMUA notes

Overheard at the PMUA.

Two interesting items caught my ear at last Tuesday's Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority (PMUA) board meeting.

The first was when executive director Dan Williamson reported to the Commissioners that he had received a letter from the City's corporation counsel, David Minchello, reiterating questions asked by Ron West, the city's Director of Administration and Finance in an email of February 10.

Gien the history of miscommunicaiton and poor relations between the city and the solid waste agency, I don't know which surprised me more: that the City would try to communicate through an email, which is a relatively informal channel, or the discoery that Mr. Williamson evidently doesn't do email.

The second item of interest was when Councilor Bill Reid extemporized in presenting a Council resolution of thanks to outgoing commissioner Alex Toliver, when he said that he wanted to reassure the commissioners that he was determined not to give advice and consent to any nominees who might consider unwinding the PMUA and re-absorbing it into the city's operations.

Does this explain the persistent questions from Councilors to nominees about whether they had ever signed a petition protesting PMUA rates or practices?

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

There is nothing startling about Mr. Reid's comment that he will oppose any one nominated to the Board of Commissioners of the PMUA who has signed a petition, or has criticized the organization. The character of the interviews of Mayor Mapp's nominees that were conducted by the Council made the Council's prejudice abundantly clear. What the Council does not understand, or will not accept, is that not every one who has been critical seeks to disassemble the organization. The critics are divided, some advocate dissolution and others reform. The politics of Plainfield make dissolution not improbable, but impossible. The nominees understand this. What is not impossible, and probable, is that some new, enlightened, enthusiastic, leadership can reduce the cost of PMUA operations. This will inure to the benefit of not only to the rate paying community, but to the benefit of the PMUA rank and file. The candidates whom Mayor Mapp proposed had commendable qualifications. To the person they responded to the questions posed by the Council by stating that they wanted to look at the operations from the vantage point of having unrestricted access, and the opportunity to evaluate rather than provide uninformed knee jerk responses regarding modes of improvement. Rather than being commended for their moderation they were rewarded by rejection. The Council has a short memory. Only 3 years ago the PMUA literally refused to attend an invitation from the Council to meet to discuss the wave of public indignation which had erupted regarding PMUA operations. When the PMUA Commissioners and Executives, one of whom is now on the Council, finally condescended to meet with the Council, the PMUA team was, to put it politely, "hostile". The PMUA can not brook criticism. The PMUA is not open to change. The PMUA is entrenched and protected by the Plainfield political cabal. . It is my belief that the compelling reason is more than ego, more than control, more the ability to dispense patronage. The underlying apprehension is that there are closet doors which are locked, and a concern exists that they will be opened allowing a rush of unwelcome daylight. Bill Kruse

Alan Goldstein said...

Typical tripe about personalities, with no substance or details. It's no wonder they get away with murder. Maybe it's just too close for comfort.