Special Meeting Monday
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.