A recent development illustrates why Adrian Mapp should be re-elected to the City Council. The Council held a budget meeting last Monday. The Council is on the verge of approving a 2012 city budget that will determine the the tax rate and level of services for Plainfield residents. The details of that meeting are ably documented in blog posts by Bernice Paglia and Olddoc.
It's the story behind the public scene that shows why we need Adrian Mapp as a city government leader. The previous week the Council Finance Committee (Mapp, Reid and myself) met with members of the city administration to sort out the mess created by omissions in the Mayors introduced budget. Omissions totaling $2 million that threatened to trigger massive lay-offs and tax increases. The Mayors people had only one solution: cut the library funding from $1.4 million to $920,000. Mapp said "no way".
When it was now clear that the confusion within the administration had not abated, Mapp challenged the meeting participants to come up with a solution that would not be on the backs of Plainfield residents. The city's budget consultant (hired at the initiative of Mapp, Williams, McWilliams and I) was able to find savings from unspent expense budget lines from the 6 month transitional budget in 2011. Thank you David Kochel.
That still left a huge budget gap. Mapp insisted we take a hard look at the city surplus. It turns out that the switchover from a state fiscal year to a calendar year generated a lot of surplus. So much that we could take enough for the 2012 budget that the tax rate proposed by the Mayor could be reduced by two tax points- that is a reduction of $250,000 in the Mayors tax levy. We can go from negative $2 million to positive $250,000. There is still adequate surplus for future years. The Council is poised to approve this amended budget.
One indication of who Adrian Mapp is - he was not willing to settle for a partial reduction of the $2 million budget gap. He insisted it be eliminated. And in the interest of our overburdened taxpayers, he took it a step farther - to reduce the taxes below the flawed budget proposed by the Mayor. And he wasn't willing to take the easy way out by slashing the public library hours and services to people who need them more than ever.
Back to the Council budget meeting last Monday - he didn't even ask for credit for what he has done for the people of Plainfield. I guess you only get noticed when you do something that people disagree with.