Monday, October 31, 2011

Kochel Deal A Limited Treat

Reading City Council Resolution R 367-11 on Halloween was like getting a bunch of assorted Post-It notes in my bag instead of the treat I had hoped for – useful, but not sweet like a handful of Twix Minis.

The resolution calls for Acting City Administrator David Kochel to give the city an additional 100 hours between Nov. 7 and Dec. 21, with an option to be available by phone and/or e-mail through March 31, 2012.

Boo! I was hoping he would stay on maybe for the whole two-year balance of the mayor’s term. Instead, it looks like he will provide support to yet another person who will be in charge of day-to-day operations of the city.

In the mayor’s first term, Carlton McGee and Marc Dashield each served as city administrator. Bibi Taylor served through the first year of the mayor’s second term, notwithstanding an attempt to fire her on Christmas while she was nine months pregnant. Since January 2011, Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson served as acting city administrator for three months, followed by the mayor herself until Kochel came aboard in early May.

The council voted to rewrite the 90-day rule for acting administrators in August so that Kochel could stay until early November. Now, if the council passes R 367-11 at Tuesday’s special meeting, we will have the benefit of Kochel’s expertise for a while longer on a limited basis.

That is the treat. The trick is, who will be the next acting or permanent city administrator that Kochel will help out? Only two years remain in the mayor’s second term. Is there someone in the wings who would consider that “permanent” enough to sign on? Or will the city have a job booth at the League of Municipalities convention to attract a highly-qualified acting city administrator?

Compared to Trenton Mayor Tony Mack’s run of seven business administrators in 15 months, Plainfield doesn’t look all that bad. But add to the mix the many past vacancies in other top jobs and the Queen City doesn’t look very good.

The special meeting is 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 in City Hall Library. Besides the resolution on a new contract for Kochel's services, there is a hearing on amendments to the 2011 six-month transition budget and a resolution to adopt the budget. Any new acting or permanent city administrator will have to deal with the return to a calendar year budget. For the full agenda, click here.


1 comment:

  1. It will be interesting to see how the mayor's three stooges vote on keeping our Acting City Administrator and on the Pay-to-Play items. I'm hope Jerry Green and our mayor don't want to keep Pay-to-Play and the tax payer money it wastes. I hope we can try to make Plainfield more honest and work better for its residents.