Monday, May 9, 2016

Last Council Meeting Before Primary

Tonight's City Council meeting is the last before the June 7 primary, barring any special meetings that may come up, so expect to hear some campaign rhetoric in the portion for general public comment.

One highlight may be second reading and final passage of amendments to the anti-tethering ordinance that was passed in March 2015 Jay Jefferson Cooke of the Courier News wrote about the amendments last week, with special praise for Councilwoman Bridget Rivers. Last year the ordinance brought animal lovers from Plainfield and beyond to urge its passage, and there may be a similar turnout for the amendments.

A resolution regarding Ramadan stirred up some controversy when I posted about Alan Goldstein's objections to it. I took the post down after receiving an indication that attention from far away had developed. What is that saying about never bringing up religion or politics? So far, the local politics have not reverberated with the world at large, but I suspect a web crawler brought unexpected interest in the blog post from distant ideologues. I would rather keep things hyperlocal, if possible.

The most curious item to me on the agenda is an executive session for personnel matters. I hope it means maybe a new chief financial officer, but one never knows until these closed-session items come to a public vote. It was somewhat disconcerting to hear that there was an interim arrangement where a CFO was "letting us use his license," as City Administrator Rick Smiley explained the situation.

A CFO is one of the municipal officers required by statute. Either you have one or you don't. There is not supposed to be any middle ground, although for a time Plainfield relied on a CFO who helped out a few hours a week. That arrangement ended up lasting for many months. Meanwhile, the council passed an ordinance increasing the pay range for the title and in 2014 hired a full-time CFO, who recently left..

If you plan to attend, the council meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.


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