Monday, March 31, 2008

No Council Meeting Tonight

Don't bother to stop by City Hall tonight. I'm told there is no City Council meeting until next Monday. That would seem to indicate there is yet one more Monday-Wednesday sequence to go in the big transition back to a Mondays-only schedule.

Anyone who tried to check the City Council portion of the city's web site for meeting dates would find under "Agenda" two dates from mid-2007. Then there is a calendar link, which brings one to just that: A blank calendar for March 2008 with no meeting dates.

My thought had been that second reading and final passage of the Mondays-only ordinance on March 5 meant it would kick in by March 31. I even have a council calendar that says so. Oh well. I'm sure it will all work out.

Televising the council meetings is another idea that has not yet become a reality. The only way to see the City Council in action is still to attend the meetings.

Now that Plaintalker allows comments, I would be interested to know why people attend or don't attend City Council meetings. Some very important decisions take place at these meetings and one can also see how the governing body behaves toward citizens and toward each other.

Please leave a comment if you wish.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not attend council meetings, not because after all these many years there are not important decesions to be made, but because the council does not respond and follow up with issues raised. Have you noticed how passive they are when citizens comment at the mike? Quality of life issues and bad government management practices, e.g., no redevelopoment plan for the central business district-North Ave & East 2nd Street are farcial in concept and for all practical purposes are irrelevent- are not being addressed by JG of SBR. Bernice, keep up the good work. Planfield needs you and your thoughtful snapshot of Plainfield.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too really appreciate you, Bernice. Quality reporting at its best... I am very much in favor of televising Council meetings. It is done in Edison and seems to allow those of us who have conflicts of scheduling to see and hear what takes place. It would also enhance the business quality of the meetings and make the public's selection of members during election more efficient.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to attend council meetings on occasion but I sometimes have to work the night shift. I would say that I agree with the first person who says that the council just sits there and doesn't respond. It makes you feel that you don't count. At least the courtesy of a response is in order when a resident comes out to the meetings. I have spoken to city council people about this in the past privately and have been told that they don't want to alienate the administration, thet they don't want to be open to lawsuits, that they don't want to appear divisive, that they don't want to lose votes based on their answer. I am dismayed by their lack of ethics and courage. They care only about being reelected. They are scared of Jerry Green, I was told this by two council people. Jerry holds the power of giving the line for the election and they don't want him to go against them.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There would be more participation if the council would force the administration to make sure the meetings were taped and broadcast immediately the next day. This way, residents can see the workings of government for themselves. The video can also be put up on the city's website. This is not rocket science and with a competent individual videotaping, the public would be able to see what the council is doing with our money, to our city, on a weekly basis. It was proposed that citizens can go to the council meetings with their own video cameras and tape the meeting and then have it broadcast. This may be the only way to get the meetings on the air, and it is legal. The city cannot refuse to air tapes submitted by residents, and they cannot refuse to broadcast the public meeting over the public access airwaves. If they try to refuse, they would be subject to a lawsuit.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that even when the people go to the council meetings what ever they say makes no difference. Look how many people spoke up about the police chief issue. Did it make a difference? Only two council members voted with the citizens of Plainfield. I agree with the person above. The council is afraid of Jerry Green. Go and watch how he looks at them when it comes time to vote on his issues. Body language tells all. It’s too bad because the citizens of Plainfield GAVE Jerry the power. In truth it’s not about Jerry at all, it’s the power brokers being driven by money. Plainfield can take back its town and get things done if it speaks out at the voting booth.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't go because I travel, and am not able to attend. It would be great if the council and administration would become more worldly and get a call in number so people like myself can listen. It would be understood that if you call into the council meetings, you cannot speak, but can listen and address any issues you have to the particular councilman, or Mr. Gibson. It would also be great if the administration would have a working, viable web site.

10:05 AM  

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