Saturday, August 6, 2011

Council Meeting of August 8: Preview

The agenda fixing session begins at 7:30, preceded by a special meeting at 7 pm. At 7the Council takes up the second reading of the ordinance to enable the extension of acting senior city managers in their temporary positions. I am in favor of this legislation because it continues the employment of David Kochel, an experienced City Administrator, for a second 90 day period. The Mayor has had real difficulties recruiting senior managers (CFO, City Administrator, Director of Urban Development and Public Works) and this buys her more time.

The agenda fixing meeting features an update from Public Safety Director Helwig who has been asked by the Council to discuss what the police division is doing about the continuing gun violence and tragic shooting deaths in 2011.

Also of interest:

* a resolution appointing Suplee-Clooney as the city auditor for FY 2011. They do a good job and have been Plainfield's audit firm for many years. At some point, this needs to be bid competitively but with the weak position Plainfield finds itself administratively, this is not the time for it.

* we only received one bid for banking services (you may recall the Council passing a resolution requiring the Mayor to put banking out to bid so Plainfield could be assured of getting the best deal possible) and the bid will likely be rejected so we can go back for more bids. When I get more information, I will report on this in a future blog.

* a resolution seeking approval to submit a Union County grant application for $92,500 to purchase and stabilize the Lampkin House on Terrill Road. Plainfield would have to put up a match in the same amount. I believe the city should weigh the match and ongoing costs if we purchase (maintenance and lost taxes) against the future benefits. Any time a fully developed community like Plainfield has an opportunity to add open/public land, it should be seriously considered. It appears to me that not taking action will result the collapse of the third oldest house in Plainfield. Given Plainfield's weak financial position and current obligation to support the Drake House, this will be a tough decision to make.

* liens against 13 properties in need of yard clean-up by the city. Kudos to the Mayor and administration for taking action to keep our neighborhoods looking good.

* executive session begins at 6 pm and has several items of interest that may get reported out at the August 8 public session and, if not, at a later date.

Enjoy the weekend!

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