Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Magic Word for Budget Cuts

Late in Tuesday's budget session, Plainfield Municipal Employees Association President Cynthia Smith finally uttered the word that has been missing so far: Provisionals.

It used to be that those who had city jobs but had not passed tests or been certified in their titles were the first to go from the ranks. For many decades, mayors and administrators have doled out jobs by plucking titles out of a grab bag and attaching them to the favored person. Once a mayor asked me to become the public information officer. I said there was no such title at the time. No problem, His Honor said, I could be called a senior program analyst or somesuch. I declined.

Often a change of administrations leads to a purge of all holding provisional titles. Sometimes budget constraints do the same. But despite the global recession that has everyone watching pennies, the current administration seems oblivious to the need to consider cutting provisional staff. There is no new broom to sweep clean in 2010, it's the same broom that has been kept in the closet in recent years. And despite a clamor from citizens and a hardening of demands from the governing body, the administration is showing a willful disregard of the need to cut costs.

Round one was last night, round two is Thursday. The old joke about the mule and the two-by-four comes to mind ("First you have to get his attention"). We see who is being mulish. Anybody got a two-by-four?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a provisional employee for a new position, waiting for the state civil service to approve the title sent. The paperwork got "held up" between the mayor and her personnel dept and the personnel director gave me the axe--for political reasons, no other.

11:19 AM  
Blogger active citizen said...

I would think that since our current mayor is unable to do the job of firing all of the friends and family she and Jerry put in place, the council should get a list of provisional employees and put them on notice. How hard is that?

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Active citizen. Start with Laurence Rice and Barbara James, both wastes of space, salary and health and pension benefits. Then take away all the stipends and health and insurance benefits for all appointed commissioners including PMUA, Plfd Housing Authority and any others. Cut council and mayor pay and make council and mayor pay for their health benefits. End benefits for mayor and council dependents since it is a part time position.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just do not cut the 4 night stays at Atlantic City during the League !!!

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All for cutting health and dental benefits to part time employees. Or at the very least make those folks pay something to get them. Why are we footing the bill for some people who show up once a week?

11:00 PM  

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