Wednesday, September 09, 2009

City Council Melange

OK, this is a play on Potpourri, but how else to offer a mixed bag of items from Tuesday's meeting?

Please note all items approved Tuesday will be moved to the Sept. 14 agenda.

In no particular order, items on the agenda included a 3.75 percent pay increase for the Firemens Mutual Benevolent Association retroactive to Jan. 1. Then there was the layoff plan for Dudley House staffers, one of whom will go to Public Works and another to Plainfield Action Services. The fate of the program past Dec. 31 is still up in the air.

Even though the council approved spending $80,000 for a "visioning study" about transit-oriented development, the proposal still drew flak Tuesday from First Ward Councilman William Reid, who objected to the expense. Once again, Councilman Cory Storch, champion of the study, explained the process, which will not be accepting the view of an outside group , but will entail developing a vision for the city's future from what citizens want.

The administration asked the council to approve a three-month budget through December, but council members decided that a one-month temporary budget for October was more appropriate. The City Council may hold a special meeting Sept. 24 for budget introduction, after which the council and its budget advisory committee may propose amendments to the SFY 2010 budget for the year ending June 30.

Item K turned out to be a request for City Council permission to submit an application for $8 million in Homeland Security funding for repairs to two firehouses. The two firehouses mentioned did not include the one that fire officials previously said needed a $7 million upgrade to prevent the floor from collapsing due to the weight of new equipment.

Item N had an interesting highlight, as it would provide for a Special Improvement District project to create 11 "gateway signs" into the city. The resolution also states that there will be a hearing Nov. 16 on the SID budget. Mark your activist calendar!

A $100,000 contract using Community Development Block Grant funds would provide home security for income-eligible home owners, adding locks, window pins and other equipment to prevent intrusions. The vendor is R.D. Sales and Door Hardware.

An ordinance to create the position of an IT manager with a salary range of $70,000 to $110,000 will be up for second reading and final passage Monday. It will take effect 20 days later, at which time the administration can hire somebody.

There are several discussion items to report on, which I will do later.

--Bernice Paglia


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