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.