Saturday, November 22, 2014

Notes from the League of Municipalities Convention

Workshop:  Your Role in Overseeing Authorities

Governing bodies have the power to create authorities, appoint members to their commissions, review their budgets and dissolve them.  This latter point was mentioned over and over by the presenters - Thomas Neff and Ann Zawartkay from the Division of Local Government, Dept of Community Affairs (DCA).  In other words, the state can't replace the city council's authority for these responsibilities.

The most interesting information from this session for me was obtained after the session ended.  Speaking with Ms Zarartkay (Chief, Bureau of Authorities and Auditing), I learned that DCA's investigation of complaints from Plainfield about the $1 million payment to retired executives was taken up by the state Comptrollers office at the request of the Governors office.  DCA officials have been waiting for the Comptrollers office to do what they do and  last summer they called to find out when this part of the investigation would be completed.  They were told some time from September to November. 

This may not be news to local insiders but others have been wondering if and when this investigation would be concluded.  I was worried when, last year, my calls to the Governors office were not returned.

Ms Zarartkay also shared that when the investigation is completed, a report will be copied to the PMUA and the city.  Mayor Mapp confirmed that he was told he would receive the report.

Whatever the conclusion, it will be good for the city to get beyond the lack of resolution we are experiencing.  And I hope the conclusion is that the ratepayers will get our money back.

No comments: