The needler in the haystack.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is it time to bring back Plainfield Township?


Wrong choice of words.
Is it time to bring back Plainfield Township? Council President Adrian Mapp's reorganization meeting remarks highlighted an interest in seeing 2012 explore shared services more seriously.

That put me in mind of another discussion taking place statewide: consolidation of New Jersey's many municipalities. In fact, Princeton Boro and Princeton Township will be merging, following a successful referendum this past November.

While writing up yesterday's post on the new Plainfield website, I noticed (yet again) the annoyingly inaccurate 'established 1869' slug on the current City website.

'Established' just seems the wrong word. Plainfield was settled in 1685. Over the years it was an unincorporated village with many names. In 1869, it was incorporated as a City -- out of Plainfield Township (see the Wikipedia article here).

What was Plainfield Township?

Back in December, the Ledger ran a brief item on a discussion about merging Scotch Plains and Fanwood, which have shared a school district for decades (see story here).


1872 map shows some of Plainfield Township.
Turns out that Plainfield Township encompassed what is now Plainfield City plus Scotch Plains and the subsequently carved-out Fanwood.

Is it time to bring back the old Plainfield Township?

Think of the possibilities.


-- Dan Damon [follow]

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sure those folks in Scotch Plains would just love that!

I would think North Plainfield would be a better match logistically. And then we could have highway frontage, HA!

In Omaha, the City was suffering from a dwindling tax base as residents moved into the surrounding suburbs. So the City conquered them, they literary took over some of the suburbs. These acquisitions survived when challenged in the Nebraska Supreme Court.

We could give it a try with Fanwood, ya know, start small. I'm in if anyone else is!

Jim Spear

Bob said...

This would save a fortune for everyone and perhaps help the Plainfield school system become more than the poor, uneducated relative it is now, compared to surrounding school districts. We would need to get past the people from Scotch Plains and Fanwood who look down their noses at Plainfield, and that will be a big job.

Bob Bolmer

Jim Pivnichny said...

Dan,
Do you seriously think that the residents of Fanwood and Scotch Plains would want to share any services, let alone merge, with Plainfield? Not if they have anything to say about it. I doubt that they can overcome the problems of merging with each other. In NJ, local rule rules.
Jim

Anonymous said...

In Texas,there is a practice of annexing the communities which are near,for example, Houston. It may be an idea worth exploring.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I think the surrounding towns would fight tooth and nail to be merged with Plainfield.

We have far more problems than they, failing leadership.

Can you image the political fight that would ensure??

They would see their property values crash as their good school systems get merged with our currently horrible, failing school system.

No way would any of those towns want our politicians at the helm, running what goes on in their neck of the woods.

It's unfortunate. If our leaders REALLY tackled our issues, showed REAL leadership (not just politics as usual), if the school system was showing REAL strides to clean up their act -- maybe the other towns would consider it.

Anonymous said...

There are some problems with your idea, and the comments: North Plainfield is in a different county; and Fanwood and Scotch Plains have a school system that actually makes an attempt to educate their students. No taxpayers in their minds from either town would want to share anything with Plainfield.

Stephen

Taiwan Brown said...

Merge with Plainfield?

I bet they would RIOT to avoid this.