Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Council adopts $83M 2017 budget, Rivers and Toliver soggy "fireworks" fail to ignite

Rivers' soggy fireworks let her down Monday night.

With all seven councilors present and most of the agenda consisting of consent items (passed en masse with one vote), Plainfield City Council moved at a pretty good clip.

The 2017 budget was amended to take into account $424,000 in grants that will be coming in during the rest of the year. The amendment passed 5-2 (with Councilors Rivers and Toliver being the 'no' votes). Rivers felt constrained to explain that she was going to vote 'no' on the budget as there was "too much money in a slush fund".

As expected, the amended budget was then passed by an expected 5-2 vote (Rivers and Toliver again).

At this point, with the budget adopted and opportunity to question it past, Toliver said she had a question about the budget. Council President politely told her the time for questions was before the vote, and that the meeting would continue with the agenda and Toliver could ask her question at the end. Which she did, after Rivers got apologies from a couple of councilors who spoke out of turn.

Toliver and Rivers objected to a raise for the Superintendent of Park & Recreation and asked for an explanation.

City Administrator Rick Smiley explained that since the Senior program and the Municipal Alliance were now under Parks & Recreation, the salary increase was to compensate the Superintendent for the extra oversight responsibilities.

After some back-and-forth, Toliver said To Smiley, "That's not good enough! ... That's not acceptable!"

Rivers wanted to know when the supervision of the Senior program had been given to Parks & Recreation.  "Over a year ago," Smiley said.

Council President Williams tried to move the meeting forward, but Rivers resisted, talking over the chair, over the gavel, and making quite a scene (catch in on PCTV), during which Williams called for a motion to adjourn, got it, conducted a voice vote -- all the while with Rivers loudly blathering.

With that, Rivers' soggy fireworks failed to light and we got safely through the last Council meeting before the June primary election.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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