Tuesday, April 3, 2012

PMUA in the Spotlight

At last nights Council meeting I proposed four resolutions to be put up for approval:

1. thanking the PMUA Taskforce members for the hard work of researching the solid waste and sewer service rates and presenting the comparisons with rates of similar towns. The taskforce also presented findings and recommendations to improve transparency and accountability, food for thought for the Mayor, Council, Board of Education and other Plainfield boards and commissions.

2. directing the Mayor and administration to procure the professional services needed to conduct a dissolution study. This study would be sent to the NJ Local Finance Board whose approval is necessary if the City Council is to dissolve the PMUA. More on this in a future blog post.

3. urging the PMUA Commission to make immediate and significant rate reductions. This is appropriate because if the PMUA is dissolved, it will take considerable time and the rate payers need relief now.

4. urging the PMUA Commission to rescind the $1 million settlement with the retired PMUA executives.

A majority of Council members agreed to put all four resolutions on the agenda for a vote at next Mondays Council meeting.

The Mayor was asked to support the dissolution resolution and she responded by stating concerns, more like worst case scenario's should dissolution succeed. She is right to bring up concerns and ask for more information. She was given the contact information for attorneys who have successfully facilitated dissolution of other municipal authorities.

These attorneys met with Council President Mapp, Councilor Rivers and I and they explained that a dissolution study will only be approved by the Local Finance Board if:
1) a case can be made that ratepayers will benefit from the action,
2) that a viable plan is in place to guarantee that essential services remain in place and
3) that there is a plan to treat authority employees in accordance with applicable laws.  I would advocate further that there is a plan to retain Plainfield residents to do the essential work of waste disposal.  I believe my Council colleagues are with me on this.

I hope Mayor Robinson Briggs is ready to voice her support next Monday.

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