Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Did Planning staff force Mapp's hand?

This is a Royal Flush, a poker hand that can't be beat.

Did the Planning staff force Mayor Adrian O. Mapp's hand?

Staff members asked for a public hearing on the rumored layoff plan, which City Council took up at the end of its executive session Tuesday evening before the actual agenda-setting session.

No one knows it this was Mayor Mapp's plan for how this would unfold. Rumors of the proposed layoffs and outsourcing of the division's work have been floating for weeks, but the only public peek was a brief email from the Mayor to Bernice (see here) saying things would be clarified on Tuesday.

However, the agenda went out electronically on Friday afternoon and contained no mention of discussion of a layoff plan.

Councilor Taylor had some sharp questions about the matter, asking why, if there were problems, "what did we do to fix that"?

Asked whether the Council was expected to "do something" at the meeting, Corporation Counsel David Minchello responded that the Mapp administration just wanted to provide information about the situation in a timely fashion.

In any event, it seems to be all over except for the weeping.

If the administration pleads economic necessity to the State, which must approve a layoff plan, it seems to me likely to win the OK.

An RFP is supposed to be advertised today for a planning services firm.

Council will have to approve a layoff plan, expected to be offered to them at next month's meeting, approval of which should be pro forma. A plan would then be submitted to the state's Division of Local Government Services. After their expected signoff, which could take 30 days, notices will go out to employees of a layoff that will take place 45 days later.

This means the Division could be gone by roughly mid-January, by my reckoning.

Whether or not this is a wise decision and whether the savings will be permanent and noticeable we will only know in hindsight.

At 7:40 PM the discussion was ended and the executive session was declared over.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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