Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Budget Session Tonight

Tonight the City Council will resume budget deliberations from 7 to 9 p.m. in the teachers’ cafeteria at Plainfield High School, 950 Park Ave.

At the last scheduled meeting on Oct. 9, only two of seven council members showed up. There was also a mix-up over public notices, resulting in the city paying $804 for two legal notices for a non-existent budget hearing. These incidents kind of watered down the fervor the council expressed earlier when faced with halving an 8 percent tax increase.

Realistically, the budget sessions will continue into November as the city awaits word on how much extraordinary aid the state will allocate to Plainfield. There should be enough time for the governing body to hear from all major departments and divisions in order to decide what can be cut. The council has already heard from Police and Fire divisions, which account for the largest expenditures. See Plaintalker’s report here.

At the other end of the spectrum, even small commissions are supposed to conform to the budget process as outlined in the Administrative Code. That means accounting for how they spend public money. More later on that topic.

The tax rate in the budget proposed by the administration is $3.48 per $100 of assessed valuation, or more if the state aid doesn’t come through. There will be an increase of $327 in taxes on the average home assessed at $113,000, unless the council can effect cuts.

--Bernice Paglia


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