The city's new director of Public Works & Urban Development met the public at his first City Council meeting Tuesday. Since taking office Sept. 26, Eric Jackson said he has been getting to know his staff and starting to set direction for the department. Click here for a list of its divisions and its mission.
The council met in closed session to discuss personnel, specifically the Public Safety director and city administrator. Upon returning to open session, Council President Annie McWilliams said the governing body "asked questions and got some answers" from the Union County Prosecutors Office. Asked for a fuller explanation after the meeting, she said the discussion had to do with a new crime-fighting strategy. No mention was made of any city administrator nominees.
In ceremonial matters, the council recognized efforts of the "I Have A Dream" project which provided mentoring and support to students at Clinton School and is now getting ready to help 60 2012 graduates launch college studies. The group will hold a "Celebrating Our Dreamers" event on Oct. 25. The council also congratulated the Jam Steppers drill team on 30 years of training and competition.
Planning Director Bill Nierstedt gave a brief pitch for a study of flood maps that could result in savings for homeowners. Maps from FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers do not agree on flood areas and clearing up the designation could release as many as 245 current policy holders from the burden of carrying flood insurance.
Public hearings were held on the Special Improvement District and the six-month Temporary Year 2011 municipal budget.
The governing body reappointed Owen Fletcher to a five-year term on the Housing Authority of Plainfield Board of Commissioners. The vote was 6-1, with Rebecca Williams voting "no." Fletcher is also the newly-elected chairman of the board.
Council members split, 4-3, in passing a resolution to allocate $5,000 more for the investigation into payments made to WBLS for an Aug. 1, 2010 "Town Meeting." Those voting "yes" were Cory Storch, Rebecca Williams, Adrian Mapp and Council President Annie McWilliams, with Vera Greaves, William Reid and Bridget Rivers voting "no." The investigation will continue at a special meeting on Oct.19.
Bids for media, photography and videography services were rejected, as all were deemed "above reasonable cost," Acting City Administrator David Kochel said. Requests for proposals or bids will be sought in the 2012 calendar year. For the six-month transition year, the city will seek informal proposals from qualified individuals, Kochel said.
This is just a quick look at some highlights from the meeting. No doubt other bloggers will round out the reports. Mark Spivey wrote a comprehensive story on the "I Have A Dream" program last week.