The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Full Disclosure

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed 
that will not be known or brought out into the open. (Luke 8:17)

As the noise increases (not from the cicadas but, rather, from the excited buzz around city hall) in the waning days of the lame-duck administration, it is important that we remain vigilant about any attempts to pad the payroll with salary increases for selected individuals and mayoral favorites and friends. It would be unconscionable to have this happen when the residents of this city have made it clear that we need to tighten our belts.

To that end, I requested that the administration provide me with copies of all Personnel Action forms issued or signed since January of this year. I am particularly interested in seeing those signed within the past few weeks, i.e., after the primary results which confirmed an end to the administration of the current mayor at the end of this year. Often, the losing side of a political campaign attempts to "hook up" their friends and supporters with additional perks before they ride off to oblivion. 

You, the taxpayers, should be aware of any unusual promotions or excessive salary increases and voice your concerns (and/or outrage) if you find anything out of the ordinary. The only way that you can be aware is through the vigilance of your elected council representatives. 

In the budget given to us by the administration, the mayor attempted to give a 15% increase (yes, fifteen percent!) to her confidential aide with no explanation, among other things. In these financially tight times, it behooves the council to guard the public purse from imperious excesses. We already know that this mayor is a profligate spender of money that is not hers, and it is our fiduciary responsibility to ensure that she does not create personnel challenges for the incoming administration and council by saddling us with problems as she moves on to whatever it is that she plans to do with her time when she leaves office.

I will keep you apprised of my progress.

All best,



  1. Rebecca,

    Thank you for your steadfast vigilance!

  2. In prior administrations the Mayor had one (1) secretary and the City Administrator had one (1) secretary. The office was run very efficiently. The Mayor now has two (2) secretaries....and the City administrator who carries the work load only has one (1) secreatry. Is there a message here? Oh yes, and the heavily burdened personal assistant secretary warrants a 15% wage increase, But then there is a heavy responsibility that comes with not answering calls and declining interviews with people who want to meet with the Mayor.

  3. Never before to my knowledge has a Plainfield mayor had a "confidential aide." As I recall this was a new position requested by Sharon when she took office. Check it out, Rebecca!

  4. Thank you, Rebecca. We must be aware and informed.

  5. Pat Turner KavanaughJune 20, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    all this helps pad public pensions, too, especially if the individual can stay in the pension system afterwards..


  6. That 15% increase was proposed, but could not be adopted. I am not against salary increases for those who deserve them, but they need to be done properly and without favoritism.

    To the other anonymous commenter: Regarding those two names you mentioned, I am on it!


    1. Thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront. I'd be interested to learn what criteria is used to determine raises - performance reviews, across the board increases, raises due to increased job responsibility, etc. Surely (ahem...) there must be a valid explanation from the Mayor...