Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2nd Ward Roads Update

There is a flurry of activity on roads in the 2nd Ward. Here are the highlights:

1. Watchung Ave between 7th St and Hillside is being paved. Curb work continues this week. Concrete driveway aprons will be installed beginning later this week or next week. Paving is expected to happen the last week of November or the first week of December.

2. Old and missing street signs are being replaced in the Netherwood neighborhood today and tomorrow.

3. The intersection of 7th St and Belividere Ave. will have crosswalks painted tomorrow or Friday, weather permitting. Pedestrian crossing signs will be added for west bound traffic along 7th St east of the intersection. This busy intersection has seen many accidents and has a lot of pedestrian traffic going to and from the Netherwood train station.

Thanks go to the Public Works employees and to the local advocates for speaking out on behalf of their neighbors for these improvements. More to follow.

Monday, October 25, 2010

CFO update

I spoke last Friday with the Deputy Director of Local Govt Services, a division of NJ Department of Community Affairs. He said Plainfield will be hearing from DCA imminently with a resolution to our CFO problem. He would not disclose what the answer would be because his letter was sitting on the Commissioners desk for approval.

I am not sure if this is good news or not. It would be a real let down if DCA does not come to the aid of Plainfield on this matter. What is DCA for if not to assist local governments in need. I will hope for a temporary resolution to our problem as well as a permanent one.

Thanks must go to Maria Pellum who contacted DCA herself to urge them to action. I asked the state official if he could acknowledge any communications from Plainfield citizens and he said he had heard from a number of people.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Attending the NJ League of Municipalities Convention

I applaud Councilman Rashid Burney for his decision not to attend the League Convention in November. It is not a good use of taxpayers money for an outgoing elected official to spend city dollars in such a way. This should hold true for the Board of Education, the PMUA and the Housing Authority, each of which sends elected and appointed people to conventions on the taxpayers dime. When I was on the Board of Education, I argued for the same approach to be made policy but did so in vain. It is on the to do list of the City Council's Finance Committee. The only thing one official can do for certain is to set the good example as Burney does.

I want to make sure there is not a misperception on the cost of the League of Municipalities Convention. Rashid mentions saving $1500. The cost for Council members to attend is more like $400. That assumes the costs are limited to registration ($60), two nights for the hotel (at $140 per night) plus gas and tolls. I do not believe that Plainfield Council members are requesting reimbursements for food and drink. There was one unfortunate exception in the past but that person is no longer on the Council. And when that came to the attention of the Council, we refused to make the reimbursement.

As for getting the most from the convention, Rashid makes good points. I only need to add that every sitting Council member I have attended the League convention with has been an active attendee at sessions and networking events. I agree with Rashid that the convention sessions are very helpful.

I plan to attend for one day as I did last year. Last year I did not stay overnight. This year I am still undecided but if I do, it will be for one night only. I promise to share through my blog what I learn from the 2010 convention and hope to implement.