Sunday, November 22, 2009

Special Meeting Monday

You couldn't tell it by the city web site, but there is a special City Council meeting Monday (Nov. 23, 2009).

The meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.

According to a legal notice, the three items up for voting are a resolution introducing the SFY 2010 Municipal Operating Budget coupled with a resolution exceeding the state deadline for introduction of the SFY 2010 budget; a resolution authorizing approval for the City of Plainfield to submit an application to the Division of Local Government Services, Department of Community Affairs, for extraordinary aid in SFY 2010; and a resolution approving authorization for the submission of a layoff plan to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission.

The municipal budget for the fiscal year that began July 1, 2009 is $73.3 million, of which $49.3 is to be raised in local taxes. The budget is late, with nearly half a year of expenditures already paid out.

The city is seeking $3.5 million in extraordinary state aid to offset a projected 9.6 percent increase in municipal taxes, but state officials have already said overall budget constraints make such aid unlikely in SFY 2010. The city is not filling five vacancies due to retirements, but needs to fill a Chief Finance Officer position and must hire five police officers, three firefighteres and a part-time building inspector to meet critical needs, according to its pitch to the state for extraordinary aid.

All these circumstances make the job of the new Citizens Budget Advisory Committee a daunting task, not to mention the strains on the administration and governing body.

Curiously, the City Council set budget meetings in 2009 for March and April, way ahead of any concrete information on likely facts for SFY 2010. So far, no schedule has been announced for the CBAC to hold meetings or to produce a report.

It's a knotty situation. It appears that only major slashing of costs will bring about the desired effects, but what the cuts will be remains to be seen.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Read this Blog said...

If the Mayor, Administration, and City leaders were serious about this budget they would have cut the pork. Look at the cars and cell phone bills for starters. Then look at the expenses for "conferences" and "work-related" travel. Round all of this out with the no-show / low-show jobs and jobs for friends who aren't qualified and you have Plainfield City Government. Where the two mottos are always a top priority: #1 "We'll get back to you" and #2 "We won't plan, so projects fail and it costs the residents more"

Am I bitter? No, I'm just one of those "bloggers" who doesn't get it.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Bernice said...

I'm curious to know how you found Plaintalker - I just jumped around on your blog and found no clues on any ties to Plainfield. Great blog, by the way, and since 2000! Wow.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous CBAC Member said...

@Blogger, we (Citizen Budget Advisory Committee) need your help in deciding what services are important to you the Citizen. Rashid says Fire, Police and Recreation Department. What say you? We also want to solicit your ideas on how to spend your money.

11:05 AM  

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