The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Monday, July 29, 2013

Apologies to Eric, Dave, and Eric--Public Servants

I want to issue an apology to Eric Berry, Eric Jackson, and David Minchello. 

It seems as if my (admittedly rushed) blog post implied something that I truly did not intend--in re-reading what I wrote, I saw how the post was misconstrued. At no point was I suggesting that these public servants were anything but ethical, honest, and straightforward. I have extremely good working relationships with them and I value their input and advice.The metaphor of "contagion" was meant to be limited to those who were involved in the fraudulent events of last summer. 

Mr. Berry, Mr. Jackson, and Mr. Minchello work at very difficult jobs, and do them well--I am very appreciative of their work for our city. My deepest apologies go to these gentlemen. I am deleting the poorly-written references. 

Regarding the fraud that occurred in the Recreation Division last year, certain employees were handing out fraudulent applications to benefit a marketing company that had no connection to the city. Personnel has changed, so it is hoped that this has been put to bed.

Rebecca



Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Pool Schedule



Several residents have asked for the schedule for use of our pools. Below is Plainfield’s official summer pool schedule.*

Seidler Field Pool (Garfield Avenue and North Avenue)
Hannah Atkins Park Pool (West Third Street and Plainfield Avenue)
Rushmore Park Pool (West Third Street and Rushmore Avenue)

MONDAY – SATURDAY - 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

SUNDAY1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

*Please note that our local summer camps and daycare centers use the pools from 10:00 am – 12:00 on Mondays through Fridays.

Friday, July 5, 2013

"WORST COUNCIL PERSON THAT HAVE (sic) EVER SERVED!"

Rebecca you are the worst council person that have ever served
Rebecca as the Devil Incarnate
on the Plainfield City Council. You do not have the residents of plainfield best interest at heart. When is your term up so i can campaign like crazy against you. Go back tothe hole you came out of. Plainfield deserve better


 Above is a comment I received on my blog post from yesterday (Thursday, July 4), wherein I noted that several questions regarding the Independence Day contracts remain unanswered by the administration--specifically, by Mr. Berry, the City Administrator (who must approve everything and has presumably seen the back-up documentation for contracts worth several thousand dollars of taxpayer money). That documentation should have been submitted at the time the discussions on vendors were occurring. Anything less is a failure of fiduciary responsibility to the residents. 

My questions are pretty simple--where is the backup documentation/history on these companies? How were they chosen or were the contracts bid upon? What other events of this size have they produced in the past? It is 10:41 am as I write this. Some folks have suggested that I am being ignored and purposely "waited out" because there probably is no additional information on the vendors I asked for. After the fact, I will receive notice that "We will do things better next time." 

Well, folks, it's YOUR money. 

I would urge you to contact your city council representatives as well as the administration and ask them for this documentation. I would suggest that you file OPRA requests for this documentation. I have several other issues of concern regarding checks for THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS that were written to private entities for FOOD. In viewing the June 2013 check register, there are thousands more...for FOOD. If you want your taxes to remain high because this administration wants to purchase food for every occasion, do nothing. 

As several constituents have told me--the busy food kitchens here in Plainfield (run by Shiloh, Grace Episcopal, and others) clearly demonstrate that folks are in need of food--some of the people I know who go to the kitchens are working folks who pay our high taxes and yet still just can't make ends meet--so, for the mayor to spend thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on cakes and other meals is unconscionable. Our city will be much better off when she is gone.

Rebecca



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day Questions Unanswered

A few weeks ago (June 19), I sent requests to the administration for information regarding the vendor contracts for the Independence Day events--namely, assurances that they met the compliance standards for public contracts. At that time, I also asked for back-up information on these entities, including a list of other similar-sized events that these companies have successfully produced, background information on the principals of the company, a company profile, and a link to each company's website. On June 27, I received copies of the business registration certificates through our Corporation Counsel.I was told that the additional information I requested was not in the possession of the city--which I found odd.  

One of the companies (Infinite Media) only became a business entity eight weeks ago, so what is its track record in producing this type of event? What is the prior experience of its principals? Was there a previous business? That is information that I still have not received, despite having made another request for this information yesterday. Below is the text from my previous requests, which have received not even the courtesy of a response. How can that be? What is so difficult about copying a file? There are individuals in city hall who are certainly capable. My assumption is that these companies were thoroughly vetted and chosen based on their experience (HSP has done events in the past). Since this event was marred last year by the fraud and corruption that was being run through the Division of Parks and Recreation, it behooves us to assuage the concerns of our residents that their taxpayer dollars are being used effectively and efficiently.

So, I sent a request to the director of public works(6/28), and another through the city administrator (6/29), for this information. I sent yet another request yesterday. Below is the text of yesterday's request. I will have one more "go" at this tomorrow.


I am again forwarding a request for the back-up documentation for these two vendors.

Since we are now only three days away from this event, please provide me with the information I requested as soon as possible, per the city's due diligence in awarding contracts. I am ONLY asking you to forward the history/documentation/reason for awarding for these two vendors--I cannot imagine that the city would have awarded contracts with no back-up documentation, especially given the fraud and corruption that besmirched last year's event. Who are they? How were they awarded the bids? What is their reputation?

1) a copy of the contracts;
2) a list of other similar-sized events that these companies have successfully produced;
3) background information on the principals of the company, a company profile, etc.;
4) a link to each company's website.

Thank you--the original request is below:
 


Mr. Berry,

Some constituents have asked me several questions regarding the vendors for the Independence Day festivities. Please provide me with the back-up information on HSP and Infinite Media.

Regarding HSP, the issues that occurred last year had to do with not receiving a comprehensive itinerary. The other concern is that, since Infinite Media just became a registered business entity two months ago, they have no track record that the public can find to assuage their fears that this company can successfully deliver.

Since we are only a week away from this event, please provide me with the following as soon as possible, per the city's due due diligence in awarding contracts:

1) a copy of the contracts;
2) a list of other similar-sized events that these companies have successfully produced;
3) background information on the principals of the company, a company profile, etc.;
4) a link to each company's website.

Rebecca