Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meeting Mish-mosh

What might have been a short City Council meeting Monday turned into another test of the citizens' staying power.

First there was yet another presentation on insurance strategies to save money. This should have been an informational discussion item at an agenda-fixing session. It turns out both this and a prior presentation came about at the behest of a resident who met with Council President Rashid Burney.

Then there was an overview of the budget amendments before their introduction, as reported in the blog post below.

The agenda started out with mostly consent items to be passed in one vote, but both residents and council members asked to have numerous resolutions removed for roll-call votes. Among the controversial items were ongoing questions about the mayor's banner in front of City Hall, the format for downtown music concerts and a resolution seeking to deny Solaris $170 million in debt relief until all city issues on the Muhlenberg closing are resolved.

Public comment took up another chunk of time, some of it being relevant to the matters at hand and some being set speeches that speakers offer at every meeting lately. Adjournment did not come until 11 p.m.

Someone called this writer at home at 11:45 p.m., delaying the one blog post I was able to squeeze out before falling asleep at the computer. The other stories will have to wait.

--Bernice Paglia


Blogger Maria Pellum, Plainfield Resident said...

Thanks Bernice. Sorry to hear the council meetings are running so late. It's quite discouraging for residents, specially for those with young children, to have to skip meetings due to the lack of, how to say it?, time management?

Hopefully the council, and the BOE, will consider earlier times for their meetings.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Dottie Gutenkauf said...

Some of us thought this might happpen when the council decided to switch to only one meeting a month instead of two. They now have one meeting a month with a much larger agenda--therefore the meeting lasts longer.

Another example of the law of unanticipated consequences at work. Or putting it another way: it's hard to put ten pounds of cement into a five-pound bag.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If people don't stop kvetching about this meeting thing, I am going to scream. It's called new and fresh, something that hasn't happened to Plainfield in forever. How do you know if something works unless you try it! If feel like I'm living in the age of the Wright brothers where people were narrow focused and not open to anything new.

Let's get some fresh ideas to resolve the situation instead of the same-o same-o can we please?

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The meetings are going long because people don't know how to run an efficient meeting, not because of the change of timing. Planning board consistently runs until 11pm - what venue change has occurred there?

5:04 PM  
Anonymous J T said...

I remember last year many, many meetings going on until 11:00pm. Get a life all you people.

All you do is whine, whine, whine, whine, whine and whine. And then you whine some more.

Whine-ing be the national pastime of Plainfield.

Is is a concidence that all the whiners are unemployed/retired with a lot of time on your hands?

Please people, get a life!

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on JT!

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am frustrated by the late meetings but also in the poor leadership of council president. Really disappointed in Burney. While "Rome" is burning, i.e. no city budget, the mayor running her relection campaign out of city hall, pothole filled streets, and his mentor Jerry Green insulting Plainfield's Democrats and ranting without substance about his colleagues on the council, Burney is talking about deer control and bringing in "information" about insurance. Nice way to hide from the public on the real issues. Maybe he's subliminally reverting to his "deer in headlights" posture whenever controversy rears its head. We need leadership.

4:02 PM  

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