'Children's Games', Breughel (click to enlarge).
Not having received the Plainfield DPW's Fall Leaf Pickup schedule, I was told by a city employee at the Fire Safety Fair last weekend that copies were available at City Hall and the Plainfield Public Library.
Dropping by City Hall and finding none on the pickup table in the rotunda, I called the office at the DPW Yard where the ever-helpful Marie Davis told me they had some copies and I could pick one up.
When I arrived, Marie told me that there actually were some at City Hall -- inside the Mayor's office, as well as the Clerk's office.
It had never occurred to me the schedules would be behind the Mayor's locked door.
So, public information has become a matter of the old children's game 'Mother-May-I'?
Must we now ask permission and take two 'umbrella-steps' to get public information?
Back in the bad old days when I was responsible for printing and distributing the semi-annual schedule, we did it differently.
Since there are 16,000+ households, we printed up 20,000 copies (the extra 4,000 cost pennies more than an order of 16,000 would). After mailing to Plainfield households, the remainder were split between a number of pickup locations throughout the city, including the Senior Center, the Plainfield Neighborhood Health Center, Muhlenberg Hospital, the Plainfield Public Library, the DPW Yard, City Hall rotunda, Plainfield Action Services and Recreation in the Annex, and a variety of other business and community locations.
That distribution pattern seems to have fallen by the wayside.
I'm reproducing the SCHEDULE below for those who didn't get their mailer. If you don't know what zone you're in, I can't help you.
[CLARIFICATION: The problem is not with the DPW, which evidently mailed the schedule in plenty of time. It is with the Administration's arrangements for those who need one but did not get it in the mail.]
|CITY OF PLAINFIELD |
DIVISION OF PUBLIC WORKS
SERVICE SCHEDULE: OCT - DEC 2009
|BRUSH & |
|PICKUP 1 ||PICKUP 2 |
|1 ||1 OCT ||4 NOV ||1 DEC |
|2 ||2 OCT ||ALL STREETS ||5 NOV ||2 DEC |
|3 ||5 OCT ||6 NOV ||3 DEC |
|4 ||6 OCT ||WILL BE SWEPT ||9 NOV ||4 DEC |
|5 ||8 OCT ||12 NOV ||8 DEC |
|6 ||13 OCT ||ON A MONTHLY BASIS ||16 NOV ||10 DEC |
|7 ||14 OCT ||17 NOV ||14 DEC |
|8 ||19 OCT ||WEATHER PERMITTING ||19 NOV ||16 DEC |
|9 ||21 OCT ||23 NOV ||18 DEC |
|10 ||26 OCT ||30 NOV ||22 DEC |
|CHRISTMAS TREES will be picked up during the month of January, 2010. |
|For information regarding Union County curbside collection (for those living along County roads), call (908) 789-3660. |
NOTE: For anyone who's interested, it was moi who developed the pickup schedule and mailing to all households, including the map with zone markings and a cover letter from the mayor, a format Mayor Robinson-Briggs evidently does not find too shabby as a communications vehicle.
-- Dan Damon