New CFO; Planning & Zoning Board slots filled; Tax Interest Rates upheld

Tonight’s meeting was a marathon, and I’m talking about the first meeting – a special session which started at 6:00pm and ended at 10:15pm. With work in the morning, I couldn’t bear to stay for the second one. I will not be able to cover everything that happened tonight, nor can I cover anything with as much depth as I’d like. I do hope to post more in the next few days.

Plainfield’s New CFO

Many Plainfielders will be happy with the hiring of Ulrich Steinberg as Cheif Financial Officer. Perhaps raising the salary range did indeed make a difference. Ulrich, who lives in Frenchtown, will have to make a significant 40 mile hike each day to come to work in the Queen City.


Mr. Ulrich awaits his vote

Zoning and Planning Board appointees

Adrian Mapp’s Zoning and Planning Board appointees were all approved by the City Council. This will come as good news to the Zoning Board and Chairman D Scott Belin, who two weeks ago expressed some frustration that there were hardly enough board members to conduct a meeting, let alone train newcomers.

Of all Planning and Zoning Board candidates, all of whom were interviewed during this meeting, only Charles McRae received “no” votes from several council members. No explanation was given.


It didn’t take long for Rebecca Williams to get annoyed with Bill Reid this evening

Charles McRae (until 12/2017), Rich Sudol (until 12/2014), and Mary Burgwinkle (until 12/2016) will succeed Elizabeth Urquhart, Geraldine Smith (resigned), and Christopher Awobue (resigned) as Zoning Board members, respectively. The board’s second alternate will be Jim Spears (until 12/2015), who succeeds Robert Scott.

On the Planning Board, Emmett Swan was appointed to a four year term, succeeding Sidney Jackson (resigned). The Planning Board’s first alternate is Sean McKenna (until 12/2015), who succeeds Willie Faulks. Lieutenant James Abney will remain on the board for another year.


Charles McRae and Jim Spears watch moments before the Council voted on their appointments

All appointees to the Human Relations Commission, the Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs, and the Library Board of Trustees were confirmed unanimously.

Tax interest rates upheld

I already wrote about the property tax issue. In short, the current rates clearly should be upheld, and any lowering of the rates would have to be part of a complicated tiered system that the Council is in no position to administer right now. The Council agreed, barely. With “yes” votes from Councilors Rivers, Williams, Storch, and Brown, Plainfield’s delinquent property tax interest rates will remain at 8% on the first $1,500, 18% after that. There will be a 6% yearly penalty. This is the same standard that the vast majority of New Jersey municipalities follow.

Before the rates were passed, Councilors Williams and Reid made statements.

Note: my apologies for the zoom noise at the beginning of the video. Working on it!

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