Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why the daylaborer center is Dead On Arrival

The vacant storefront proposed in the Horizons complex.
Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green's proposal for a daylaborer center at the Horizons (formerly Tepper's) complex at West Front and Somerset Streets is dead on arrival.

Whether or not Assemblyman Green is brave and trying to do a good thing doesn't matter.

Whether immigrant laborers are suspicious and feel a center may be used to entrap them doesn't matter.

Whether or not a trustworthy and credible manager can be found
doesn't matter.

Whether or not haters might follow the laborers to their work or homes to harass or harm them
doesn't matter.

Whether ICE agents might target the contractors and other employers doesn't matter.


Because LOGISITICS is the silent killer of this proposal, whatever its merits or demerits.

Anyone who has observed the daylaborer transaction will recognize at once that it is composed of a few discrete parts --

  • the contractor pulls up at the curb or in a lot,
  • potential workers crowd around,
  • a brief negotiation ensues over how many workers are needed and what pay will be offered,
  • the chosen few are picked and the contractor takes off with his 'crew'.
The whole transaction may take only a minute or so.

Needed? A place to pull over and execute the above sequence.

Now, look at the map above closely. The red outline is the 'vacant' storefront space in the Horizons complex.

It is in front of a NJ Transit bus stop. There is no parking or standing. There is no parking
or standing on Somerset Street in the block before the traffic light. In fact, there is no parking or standing on any of the four corners of this, perhaps the busiest intersection in the city of Plainfield.

The metered parking further down West Front is constantly filled with customers for the Dunkin' Donuts and the restaurants in that block as well as the taxi company housed there.

The lot adjacent to the laundromat is reserved for the laundromat and Horizons residents. The lot further back is for Horizons residents.

Contractors would have to park a considerable distance from the proposed center, leaving their vehicles (and tools and equipment) unguarded.

An insurmountable logistical obstacle is my guess.

Dead on arrival.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

As it should be! We have far more pressing issues to deal with when it comes to spending our money.

Anonymous said...

Dan - Absolutely correct in your logistics assessment. No one, especially politicians it seems, ever thinks these things through --they just spout off an idea with no real analysis. I think politicians need some remedial training in project planning and implementation strategies.

Anonymous said...

There are so many other things we should be spending our money on and this is definitely not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Could be that Jerry's just trolling for Hispanic votes. Who better to help him out than Larry Regan, who's been paying into Jerry's campaign war chest since about the time he first heard about the Tepper's building? Regan wants to fill a vacancy, and Jerry wants his annual stipend.

Anonymous said...

I did like the idea of having ICE Agents in the area, which they should still do. In these hard economic times we have plenty of legitimate citizens out of work while contractors are hiring illegals, paying them less and avoiding taxes.

Anonymous said...

Not necessarily "DOA" if the assemblyman is looking for a registration depot than that certainly would suffice. Working out a pick-up location can easily be incorporated for the workers who are registered. You would know they were registered because they would receive cards with names, photos etc... The pick-up depot would then have a registration agent that coordinated workers with contractors -- LEGITIMIZING the entire transaction. It is more than doable for those with a mind big enough to THINK it through instead of axing the idea simply because they don't like the person who brought it forth. It can DEFINITELY work!

Anonymous said...

Assemblyman Green has once again displayed his incredible knack for ineptitude. This was a no-brainer from the start.

Anonymous said...

What we should really do is designate that vast, circular waste of space between the Chase bank and the Dunkin Donuts at the corner of Park Avenue and Front Street I think it was supposed to be a square for citizens to enjoy the outddors-but there are no benches or places to sit! Re logistics, conrractors will just have to have someone else in their truck who can circle the block while they haggle for workers. It's ridiculous to worry about the logistics issues for contractors when they're using our city streets to pick up cheap labor. I, for one, am embarrassed by the congregation of day workers in our downtown district When are we Plainfielders going to say enough, we're tired of being a low-rent city?

Anonymous said...

Let the day laborers find a job somewhere else. I am tired of paying tens of thousands of dollars in taxes and getting nothing for it. I am tired of pushing aside the people who pay for this city to stay afloat. Where is our Wegman's / Trader Joe's/nice downtown/good restaurants and jazz bars? Where are the things that most people want?

Anonymous said...

Many politicians do think things through, just not ours.

Anonymous said...

why have a place for 1 ethnic group to congregate to be hired when there are other ethnic groups of people looking for work also, you are polarizing and discriminating others. The city and the schools already have racial problems.Jerry it is time to retire. you are out of touch.