2010 State of City Report Online
The mayor handed out hard copies of the 30-page report at the annual reorganization meeting and presented key points with a display of charts and graphics.
Communication was an issue in her first term, as residents complained that both the city's web site and the local cable channel were below par. Last year, the City Council approved the establishment of an IT manager post that will include oversight of public information dissemination.
The administration revived the post of public information officer during the mayor's first term, but the last person holding the job left city employment in March 2009. Around that time, the cable channel programming stalled for lack of staff. The cable operation still has only one employee and one consultant, but the Cable Television Advisory Board was recently invigorated with new members and Lamar Mackson as chairman. Once the IT manager is hired, it is expected that the advisory board will help gear up the operation. At present, there is one municipal channel, although a franchise agreement with Comcast of the Plainfields allows for an educational channel as well.
The city receives about $100,000 in franchise fees for the local cable operation, which will double when Verizon's FiOS reaches a certain level of penetration in the city.
For the immediate future, the mayor's main concern will be securing cabinet members to serve in her four-year term. Her nominations of Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson and Police Director/Public Safety Director Martin Hellwig for second terms both won City Council approval and were sworn in Friday. The council also approved her nomination of David Brown II as director of Public Works & Urban Development, but Brown was absent Friday.
The mayor named Bibi Taylor acting city administrator and acting director of Administration, Finance, Health & Social Services Friday and Taylor was sworn in, but will be leaving for a position in East Orange in 30 days. Taylor served as AFH&SS director since July 2009. Former City Administrator Marc Dashield resigned to become Montclair's township manager and former PW&UD Director Jennifer Wenson Maier was not reappointed.