The needler in the haystack.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mapp influence may shadow Plainfield for decades

Mayor Mapp will cast a long shadow over Plainfield's future.

Many staffers at Plainfield
's City Hall began their careers under former mayors Everett Lattimore and Rick Taylor.

Lattmore served from 1982 to 1984 and Taylor was mayor from 1984 to 1990. Employees who came on board during their terms have between 24 and 32 years of service and many are approaching retirement age.

With 25 years of service, retirees will get their maximum pension plus complete health insurance coverage for life. That is not a bad deal, and municipal employees throughout the state are considering their retirement move in the light of Chris Christie's continuing attacks on public worker unions and previously agreed-to pension obligations.

It is likely that over the next three years Mayor Adrian Mapp will make employment decisions from division head on down that will affect the quality of Plainfield governance for decades to come.

The irony here is that while a Council majority may stymie Mapp on appointments of top level department heads over one issue or another, there is little they can do about these lower level appointments.

And if you stop to think about, department heads only serve as long as the mayor who appoints them is in office. Lower level employees are in for the long haul.

The one exception over which the Council has a say is the city's residency requirement. While a majority may offer some resistance if Mapp tries to appoint non-residents, Councilors would be in a bind since waivers have been granted to so many current employees. It would make them look especially bad to block qualified applicants.

Once this potential wave of retirees passes over City Hall, those who replace them will likely be in place for the next twenty years or more, meaning that Mayor Adrian Mapp will indeed cast a long shadow over Plainfield's future.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

There's so many employees in this town that were truly not residence when they were hired. Mostly fire and police. Residency was never really enforced only if it was easy to detect.

Dan said...

4:04 AM -- You should know that NJ state law specifically exempts police and fire from any local residency requirement.