Sunday, April 12, 2009

City Budget Nears Closure?

Over a quarter-century of reporting on city doings, I can't recall a time when passage of the city budget ran so late.

According to a legal notice last week, amendments to the SFY 2009 budget will be offered Monday (April 13, 2009) at 8 p.m. in Municipal Court. Mind you, this is the budget year that began July 1, 2008 and for which officials had hoped to see closure by Dec. 1, 2008. The budget year ends on June 30, 2009.

The introduction of amendments Monday must still be followed by a public hearing and final passage at some future date. Since the City Council has now adopted a once-a-month schedule, the governing body would have to set a special meeting to have the budget wrapped up before mid-May.

Granted, the state fiscal disarray has led to this local anomaly and we must all hope it never happens again.

City officials have agreed to accept a pension deferral plan that will result in a $2.7 million reduction in expenses, but which must be paid back with interest in future years. By agreeing to the deferral, the city will not get extraordinary state to offset property taxes.

So far, only one layoff has been proposed, for savings of $10,000 or less. A Citizens Budget Advisory Committee suggested many other possible cuts, but none were finalized. Maybe some will show up in the amendments.

People are asking, do we really need Music in the Plaza, the July 4th parade, three firehouses and many other options in this current economic climate.

Plaintalker will report on the amendments as soon as possible.

--Bernice Paglia


Blogger Rob said...

I do think it's sad that the city was only able to "find" 1 position worth $10,000 a year to cut. Other cities and municipalities across NJ and the nation are cutting 10%-15% of the positions in attempt to reign in spending. But this will not happen here. It's an election year and Mayor Jerry won't let his Mini-Me Mayor Sharon do that even IF she had the sense to do it. Which I think we have proof that she doesn't from the last few years.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Granted, the state fiscal disarray has led to this local anomaly and we must all hope it never happens again."

Bernice, are you kidding me? Please don't excuse the incompetence of this administration. They will NEVER get a pass from me and should not from you either. A Jlu 2008 budget being passed alomost a year later? This has nothing to do with the economy but everything to do with incompetence.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


From one who knows some insiders, believe me that once Mr Douglas Peck mixed up the budget process so badly, NO One has been willing to touch it or else they will be awarded the "Bad Guy" award of either high taxes, or BIG layoffs. There is no alternate.


2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

During this election year, I hope voters remember this administraion's dedication to the people of Plainfield. They MAYOR and administration ask for a 9.5% increase (that's almost 10% folks!), and does NOTHING to help the council reduce the bottom line. Again, she has 3 assistants - 1 full time and 2 part time whose total salaries total about 100K. Any word on whether the mayor will give up one or two of the positions.

Remember this when you vote. Better yet, ask the mayor about this during the mayoral forum.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the last post. Why does the mayor have personal assistant's. What do they do? Must be nice to have the taxpayers pay to have a friend hang around.

6:06 PM  

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