(PLAINFIELD) – Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green has written a letter asking the City of Plainfield mayor and council to take immediate steps to protect residents from the impact of ongoing operational and fiscal mismanagement at the troubled Plainfield Municipal Utility Authority (PMUA).
“From every report that I have seen or received, the PMUA is an agency that has been out of control for some time,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “Rates and fees for collection and disposal of garbage and for wastewater services are much too high. The city needs to undertake an immediate review of the agency’s operations and finances, and consider the possible dissolution of the authority.”
Green noted that the city is empowered by the Local Authorities Fiscal Control Law to dissolve the authority, if it’s first established that direct assumption of responsibility for services related to wastewater and solid waste disposal are necessary “for the health, safety and welfare” of our citizens.
In recent weeks, there has been a significant amount of public debate and outcry about the future of the PMUA amid reports of uncontrolled spending of public funds, crushing debt and bloated personnel rosters.
“I’m recommending to the mayor and council that an expeditious review of the PMUA be undertaken by a team of independent experts, which will provide all concerned with a true picture of the authority’s status, including staffing, operations, salaries existing debt and revenue, as well as future projections,” said Green.
The City of Plainfield previously adopted ordinance MC2011-10 which requires public advertisement and request for proposals from qualified professionals to undertake the task of an independent review of the authority.
“I have indicated to the mayor and council that I believe they have a pressing obligation to undertake the process for selection of a group to commence an independent review of every aspect of the PMUA. If such a study reveals the need for the authority to be dissolved, so be it,” Green added. “If the City of Plainfield can cut the fat and waste out of the agency, and provide the same or better level of service at a reduced rate, so be it. We should not waste a single day. The city needs to act now, not later.”
Green has represented the City of Plainfield in the New Jersey Legislature for more than 20 years, and currently serves as the chairman of the Plainfield Municipal Democratic Committee.