The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Friday, February 11, 2011

Plainfield's Budget: Responsible Leadership is Crucial

Plainfield residents were made aware at this past week's agenda-setting session at City Hall Library that the city's budget gap will be upwards of $3.4 million, according to the projections of CFO Ronald Zilinski. With the municipal cap of 2% mandated by Governor Christie in place, Plainfield will be faced with some very difficult decisions. We have seen what other municipalities (such as Camden, Jersey City, and Newark) have had to do in order to reduce budget shortfalls. This will be an extremely difficult year for our city and, in the spirit of cooperation for the commonwealth, the mayor and the council will have to work hard to keep our tax increase manageable (well, that's an oxymoron) while continuing to deliver efficient city services. 

The Plainfield of today looks quite different from that of the past. I am hopeful that we can get through this process by casting a cold, hard eye on our finances while, at the same time, working to ensure that we meet the needs of those whom we serve. 

All best,


  1. "mayor and the council will have to work hard to keep our tax increase manageable"
    What manageable, it can't exceed 2%!!
    My biggest concern having a council member from an academic backround is that there can be a lack of understanding of fiscal reality.
    Many homeowners gripe about what we pay in taxes, but of a much bigger concern is that we seem to get so little for our taxes. We are reminded of this everyday when we drive in the city and deal with the roads.
    Maybe you can redirect some of your time from lofty social goals to basic infrastructure requirements that need to be addressed in Plainfield.

  2. I think worrying about having an academic on the council supposes that we have had people in other disciplines who have done a better job. As a reminder, Councilwoman Williams was not on the council during the years the CFO is reportong on. And the council, actually, did not have appropriate information as to the financial dealings of the city.

    Read the auditor's report. It is scary, and reports on the financial workings within city hall. And, these are the people who are supposed to know about fiscal reality.

    Would Anonymous like to join the CBAC to work on the city's budget? I am sure if you contact Councilwoman Williams, she would point you to the right direction as to how to get on the committee. I think your concern and obvious want for this city to be better would make you an ideal candidate.