You may recall that back in January, I pointed out Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs apparently had not participated in the NJ League of Municipalities effort to prepare proposals for the expected Stimulus Plan (see here) -- despite the Mayor being a member of the organization's Executive Board.
Now comes further evidence the Robinson-Briggs administration may be asleep at the switch. But first, a little infill.
Assemblyman Jerry Green took great offense (see here) --
Regarding the stimulus package, New Jersey is in a good position in the realm of awareness when it comes to the outlines and guidelines of the financial aid we will receive. I have to agree with Doc in that he is right in some of his comments regarding the package moving from the House to the Senate, and there being a hold up in the Senate. With that being said, how could anyone say that Plainfield missed their deadline when the package is still in negotiation? To those who spread misinformation: when you do not have a clue as to what you are talking about, and stand behind it like it is a bonded word, you end up looking very foolish.-- utterly disregarding that the 'deadline' I mentioned was only that of the statewide organization of which Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs is a board member.
Assemblyman Green goes on to enlighten us on how 'plugged in' HE is going to be on the process of distributing New Jersey's share --
To ensure the fact that the funding from the stimulus package...is appropriated fairly and out of necessity throughout the State of New Jersey, Governor Corzine has constructed two committees to monitor such actions. He has asked me to work directly with the new director who will monitor these two committees. One committee will provide the function of monitoring allotted funds that can be used in this year’s budget, while the second committee will oversee the balance of such funding. This is precisely the sort of initiatives our President is communicating that he wants to see; a unified front statewide that aims to foster and sustain efficiency and effectiveness.-- which implies that the Assemblyman expects Stimulus Plan money to help Plainfield out in the CURRENT BUDGET YEAR.
Lastly, Assemblyman Green lets us know --
I look forward to sharing this information with the Mayor and Council President so that we can institute projects that will meet the criteria outlined by the federal government. Some of the recommendations of projects to jumpstart would be the roads here in Plainfield, and any infrastructural projects that we have on paper, but have not been able to act on due to the lack of financial backing, such as our IT System. From the Governor’s standpoint of building up infrastructure and sustaining it, these sorts of projects are of TOP priority.Let's see now. With Plainfield's jobless rate reported in today's Courier to be at 10% (second highest in the newspaper's service area -- see here), Assemblyman Green is proposing to use the Stimulus Plan money to hire ONE FAT CAT AT CITY HALL FOR $130,000 and leave everyone else starving on the sidelines? And his proposed road projects WOULD NOT PUT A SINGLE UNEMPLOYED PLAINFIELDER to work.
Nice guy, this Assemblyman Green. Thoughtful.
Which brings us to the NEW news, thanks to reader SM.
A new website, called STIMULUS WATCH (see here), is monitoring 'shovel-ready' programs proposed by cities across the country for Stimulus Plan money.
Here is the New Jersey entry --
Below are the 'shovel-ready' projects for which the mayors of this state have requested federal stimulus funding. You can click on a project to read (and add to) its description. You can also discuss the project and vote on whether you believe it is critical or not. For a more local view, you can drill down to projects in a particular city. Just choose a city from the following list:Note Elizabeth is included, as are Irvington, Orange and Newark. As well as Plainfield's next-door neighbor, Piscataway.
• Clifton • East Orange • Edison • Elizabeth • Hamilton • Irvington • Newark • Orange • Piscataway • Trenton •The total of cost of all the projects submitted by New Jersey is $2,685,299,405.
But no Plainfield. Does that mean Plainfield has no 'shovel-ready' projects for Stimulus Plan money?
Not to worry, Assemblyman Green has it covered. In his February 2 post, he notes --
...one of my first phone calls this morning was to the Mayor and Administration to ensure ‘i’s and ‘t’s are dotted and crossed when the funding from the stimulus package is available for our State.So, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and her administration are on top of everything.
Quick! Cross those i's! Dot those t's!
- Plainfield Today: "Robinson-Briggs: Stimulus plan? What stimulus plan?"
- Jerry Green's Page: "NJ's relief efforts: Community first!"
- Courier News: "City's jobless rate hits 10%"
- Stimulus Watch: "New Jersey 'Shovel-ready' projects"