Thursday, June 11, 2015

Is the City Council Now Cooperating with the Mapp Administration?

The short answer is yes and no.  In substance, yes.  In style, no.

One of the Councils most important votes of the year took place last night: annual budget amendments. To my surprise, the Council did cooperate with the Mayor, turning away from the cliff and backtracking to support the staffing he proposed in his introduced budget.  The budget is in the Councils hands and goes for final approval at the next business meeting.

Unfortunately, we saw more of the oppositional behavior from some Council members when it came to use of city vehicles for the Mayor and City Administrator.  Same problem for National Night Out plans.  This is especially unfortunate because some relevant points could have been made by Mapps' opponents.  They actually were but the tone and verbiage is so negative and out of context that the points are lost in the emotional displays.

Instead of going back and forth about conflicting plans for National Night Out, I suggested we combine forces.  I got no traction on this from either side.  Even Bernice Paglia, in her blog today, missed that I said this and she usually reports both sides of the debate - in this case the emotional and the rationale sides.

Regarding the process for assigning vehicles to our top city officials, Plainfield's long standing method of doing so was called into question by the CFO and City Attorney.  But their points were a sideline to the accusations against the Mayor and City Administrator.  There very well may be a better way of handling this issue but lets not pretend this is something new and sinister.  I am sure every Mayor going back 20 years has handled this in a way that could be questioned.  What is new is the level of bad will generated by some Council members on this vehicle question.

We did better last night and we still have a lot of work to do before we can say that the Plainfield City Council is performing at a satisfactory level.

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