Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Monday, May 7, 2018

Unusually full plate for Council agenda session Monday

The usual suspects are at it again, Mondy,
7:30 PM in the Council Chambers/Courthouse.


Plainfield City Council has an unusually full plate for its agenda-setting meeting tonight (May 7). Many people -- especially those who are not regular attendees at Council meetings -- may think the the business meeting (net Monday), where action is taken is the place where decisions are made.

That would be a mistake. On most items, it becomes quite clear from the deliberations at the agenda-setting session how the vote is going to go down at the following week's business meeting.

Those who have matters before the Council would be wise to pay attention to the agenda sessions.

In addition to the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee's presentation of its report, the Council will be taking up several major contract agreements (Police, Fire, Municipal Employees, and United Service Workers), as well as establishing the new municipally-controlled Special Improvement District.

In addition, attentive readers will note that e-ticketing is on its way to Plainfield. For those not familiar, the system records all the information about the parking or traffic offense, including your license plate number, vehicle description, time and place of offense and type of offense. A printed ticket from the handheld device is placed on your windshield (or handed to you) and the data is downloaded to central record-keeping once the agent is back in the office.

There are also two annoying resolutions granting street openings on two roadways that have a 5-year moratorium because of recent paving. Thank God Plainfield demands a heat patch to repair and conceal the work. (You can see the difference in North Plainfield, which seems to have no such requirement.)

One curious item is Resolution H, seeking "advice and consent" to the appointment of Carmencita Pile as the mayor's designee to the Planning Board. I was present at the PB meeting last month at which Ms. Pile was sworn in, so it's a done deed.

Seems to me the use of the language "advice and consent" is inaccurate if not misleading, since the appointment is the mayor's to make -- these is no advice or consent sought or needed from the Council. However, since the Council actions (resolutions and ordinances)  are the official record of the corporation's doings, I wonder if it wouldn't be more appropriate for a resolution asking the Council to record the action taken by the mayor.

Lastly, congratulations are due to Cynthia Blake on being appointed the city's Certified Purchasing Agent.  Many readers will know Cynthia as the public face of the Mayor's office (along with Marilyn Nieves!) for many years. All the best to this dedicated public servant in her new responsibilities!

City Council Agenda session gets under way at 7:30 PM tonight (May 7) in the Council Chambers / Courthouse, Watchung Avenue at East 4th Street. Parking available on the street and in the lot across from Police Headquarters.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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