Ooops! On The Job Before Contracts?
It seems an “In need of redevelopment study” that was presented at a recent Planning Board meeting should have been authorized by the City Council before it was done. The study was for the expansion of the North Avenue Historic District to include the PNC bank block and the city parking lot behind Bill’s Luncheonette and other Front Street stores.
The second example was a contract for Information Technology work by a contractor named Drew R. Shearer for $17,000 starting Feb. 8 and ending June 30. However, as anybody who frequents City Hall may have noticed, the contractor has been on the job for a few weeks now.
“Is he here or will we get to meet him?” Councilwoman Linda Carter asked Monday.
New City Administrator Marc Dashield confirmed that Shearer was already on the job but had left for the day Monday.
Councilman Don Davis noted that a contract for an amount under $21,000 could be issued without bids.
Councilman Rashid Burney questioned how the contractor could be paid with funding from a capital bond for operations, but Dashield said it was acceptable because Shearer would be making a technology inventory.
Councilman Cory Storch said the city needs help but he hoped the city would not be using bonds for such purposes in the future.
Since the new administration came in Jan. 1, 2006, the city’s web site has been under construction. At present, it is not up-to-date.
Former city web site producer John DiPane sent an open letter to the City Council and Plainfield bloggers to say he created the city web site and would be glad to make it work again, but he has had no response from the new administration.
Due to the faulty web site, residents don’t know who is in charge of various departments and divisions in the city. Nor can they communicate with the city, DiPane notes.
The new administration hired several people last year to carry out public relations functions online, but reined some in when their efforts proved to be less than professional.
Citizens apparently still need a good online source to keep in touch with city government.