The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

AJ and Big Al hit the bull's-eye


Plainfield Municipal Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh and CFO Al Steinberg (known to all as 'Big Al') both hit the bull's-eye with Monday's City Council agenda.

AJ is to be congratulated for sending out not only the agenda for the meeting, but for the first time ever the actual backup documents for the public. You can see the complete agenda and backup documents (resolutions, ordinances and correspondence) here. If you want to follow the Council meetings, be sure to get on AJ's 'Clerk's Blast' email list.

This is a landmark for transparency in Plainfield government and AJ and the Mapp administration are to be congratulated! Sadly, this progress will come with some cost -- interested parties will no longer have to schlep over to the Plainfield Public Library on a Saturday morning to look through the backup materials. But we'll soldier on, somehow.

'Big Al' Steinberg is following through on the report he and auditor Bob Swisher of Supplee Clooney made to the Council concerning fiscal housecleaning following the audit of calendar year 2013.

Steinberg has a total of nine resolutions on the agenda, cleaning up a number of issues that have been noted in annual audits for years. For the first time, it seems that there is combined gumption enough between the CFO, the administration and the Council to actually address the issues.

I suspect, however, that the new procedure for handling cash payments will not be popular with the public, who now will have to include a trip to the Tax Collector's office, who will be the only folks to actually take cash. While this will no doubt stop the 'seepage' of loose cash mysteriously disappearing from various locales, it will be a definite inconvenience for the paying public, who will have to return a receipt to the original office showing they paid for the fee or service.

The agenda is quite long, and considering this is a combined agenda-fixing and business session for the Council, you might want to consider bringing a sleeping bag.

City Council meets Monday evening at 7:30 PM in the Council Chambers/Courthouse at Watchung Avenue and East 4th Street.




  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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