Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Council looks to re-petition Legislature for city charter changes

Council is set to repetition the Legislature
to enact the proposed changes to the city charter.


In November 2012, Plainfield voters elected five members to a Charter Study Commission: Rick Smiley, John Stewart, Mary Burgwinkle, Marie Davis and Jeanette Criscione.

They worked like beacer for the next several months, studying our charter line-by-line, interviewing professionals from towns with possible forms Plainfield could adopt and holding all its meetings in public, with plenty of opportunity for citizen input. The Commission kept a blog of its activities, which is still online here. Complete minutes of the Commission's meetings are available on the city's website here, and the final version of the Commission's report is here.

By August 2013, the Commission had complete its work and recommended some changes to Plainfield's special charter (see my blog post here). The report was subsequently slightly amended (in December) and an ordinance petitioning the Legislature to make the proposed changes was passed.

The ball then was in the Legislature's court. There has been little word from the Legislature in all the time since, but the Mapp administration opined on Monday evening that it would likely be taken up -- provided the Council petitioned the Legislature once again to do so.

Corporation Counsel David Minchello made clear that the Council had no authority to reopen the study matter or make any changes to the Charter Study Commission's report. Councilor Storch expressed a concern that members of the Council -- most of whom were not on the governing body when the report was adopted -- should be brought up to speed before the April meetings, where the ordinance would face its second reading and adoption.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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