The needler in the haystack.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mayor Mapp vetoes HAP ordinance


Mayor Mapp has vetoed the 'land grab' ordinance
that would convey Public Parking Lot 9
to the Housing Authority of Plainfield.

Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp forwarded his veto of the so-called HAP ordinance (MC 2014-16) Thursday morning to Council President Bridget Rivers and members of the governing body by hand and electronically to their email accounts. I have posted a copy of the document online (see here) and embedded it below for your reference.

The veto lists sixteen objections, several of which appear to be fatal to the ordinance, presented in descending order of importance.

Here are some of the main points --

  1. The statute cited in the proposed ordinance to justify the transfer (NJSA 40A: 12-20) is either misunderstood or purposely misconstrued by the person(s) who drafted the ordinance and does not convey the authority put forward by the ordinance's assertion;

  2. The terms and conditions of the sale are not fully set forth -- including the question of soil contamination and remediation which had been in the back of my mind;

  3. One of the properties listed in the ordinance (318-20 West Front) is actually across the street from the proposed property to be transferred and is not even owned by the City -- this is was completely missed by the Council majority in the rush to pass the ordinance;

  4. The one lot that could be transferred (the vacant lot at Madison Avenue and West 2nd Street) is in a redevelopment plan and must be conveyed for the purposes specifically outlined in that plan -- conditions not spelled out in the proposed ordinance; and

  5. The ordinance does not set forth a finding that the lots are not needed for a public use.
Further, the matter of the qualifications of the Housing Authority of Plainfield and its Community Development Corporation are addressed in several other points.

Besides unanswered questions about the experience, ability or financial wherewithal of these entities to perform as set forth, the failure of HAP Executive Director Randy Wood to submit resolutions by both his Board of Commissioners and the CDC's board authorizing the transfer is also noted.

Lastly, the mayor's letter notes there is no indication of who or what entity drafted this ordinance. (The copy that was presented to the Council at its July agenda-setting session looked fishy to me because the document did not contain either an ordinance number -- supplied by the Clerk's office -- or the customary lines for attestation by the Clerk and the Mayor.)

Has the haste of Council President Bridget Rivers and the Council majority to 'railroad' this ordinance -- to use Councilor Storch's term -- led to embarrassing the Council and sending Wood & Co. back to the drawing board?

Though Council President Rivers asserted 'we [the Council] are not going to do anything illegal' at the August second reading and hearing, the question is whether the Council will ignore the ordinance's fatal defects and vote to overturn the veto?

I don't think we've heard the last on the matter just yet.

Below is the full text of Mayor Mapp's veto.





  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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3 comments:

Bob said...

Thank God for someone with forethought and honesty.

Anonymous said...

SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE READ THIS BEFORE IT WENT OUT. EVEN SPELL CHECK WOULD NOT HAVE SEEN HOW "PUBLIC" BECOMES "PUBIC" IN THE FIRST SECTION...

Jeff said...

Three cheers for Adrian! At least someone other than/ in addition to Rebecca noted the illegality of this move and has stepped up to say no! Far too many unanswered questions.