The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Budget ferhoodle


Plainfield Municipal Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh sent out an email blast Friday giving public notice of City Council's hearing on the 2015 proposed budget to be held on Tuesday, May 5.

The $78 million budget proposal is up from 2014's $76.8 budget. A full copy of the detailed budget proposal is on file for public viewing at the Clerk's office in City Hall, 515 Watchung Avenue, during normal business hours.

The verhoodle (a Pennsylvania Dutch term I learned in college meaning roughly tangled or confused) comes from the fact that the hearing is a little more than two weeks away and there is no public word yet of when Council will conduct its own hearings on the budget prior to the adoption of same.

The amount of time spend by the Council in review has declined sharply over recent years, and last year Council hired Lawrence Caroselli -- a former Union County financial official -- to recommend cuts to the Mapp administration's proposal, which it then adopted with little discussion.

The same consultant has been hired this year, though we can hope that the embarrassments of last year's recommended cuts (and subsequent fiscal problems) will be avoided this time around.

The Citizens Budget Advisory Committee was appointed (six members only, Councilor Greaves did not submit a nomination) this past week. The CBAC complained last year of communications problems. We have to wonder if things will be better this year.

The public hearing will commence at 8:00 PM in the Council Chambers ' Courthouse, Watchung Avenue at East 4th Street.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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