Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, May 31, 2012

'Condition Critical' flyer floods Muhlenberg neighborhoods

Neighborhoods around the closed Muhlenberg Hospital are being leafleted.
As Plainfield's June primary election draws close (it's next Tuesday), flyers citing 'Condition Critical' have begun circulating in the neighborhoods surrounding the closed Muhlenberg Hospital.

The flyers are identified as from 'Residents Uniting to Save our Homes (RUSH)', a previously unheard of group.

JFK, the remaining corporate entity after Solaris Health System closed Muhlenberg and then dissolved itself, has a proposal to build a 660-unit apartment complex on the campus of the former critical-care hospital. Though JFK has conducted a public relations blitz during this past spring, formal procedures to seek city approval have not yet begun.

However, residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the closed hospital and which would be most heavily impacted by the demolition of the current hospital buildings and construction of a massive high rise apartment complex in its place, have been keenly interested in -- and opposed to -- the project, turning out for numerous meetings at which it has been discussed.

Besides its impact on the immediate neighborhood, the whole project is tied up with continuing questions about provision of healthcare services in this city of 50,000. With the state mandate to keep the Satellite Emergency Department (SED) open set to expire in the summer of 2013 and a proposal by JFK to renovate the former nursing school dormitory Kenyon House as a new, standalone ER, concerns are quite high throughout the community.

The flyer is critical of City Council candidates Tracey Brown and Rasheed Abdul-Haqq; Brown in particular, because she spoke in favor of the project at the NAACP forum as providing needed 'affordable housing'.

It must be said that Brown clarified her position by the time she appeared at the subsequent FOSH candidate forum, saying she was opposed to the apartment proposal as it stands. (It did not mollify the audience that she was so woefully uninformed about such a serious community issue in the first place.)

The flyer appeals to area residents to consider the changes the project would wreak on the quiet residential character of the neighborhoods and suggests a negative impact on property values.

Those with long memories will recall the impact residents in the portion of the area referred to as 'The Woods' (roughly bounded by Randolph Road, Woodland and Park Avenues and South End Parkway) had in the debate surrounding the erection of a new Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall between South End Parkway and Sloane Boulevard a number of years ago.

The flyer urges voters to support Adrian Mapp for re-election to Ward 3 and Veronica 'Roni' Taylor for the citywide at-large seat. (The entire section from Randolph Road to the South Plainfield line -- including 'The Woods' -- is in Ward 3.)

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Pat Turner Kavanaugh said...

And, Dan, do we really want a strip-mall at the corner of Randolph and Park? There was a short commercial district one block north and west of that location which was demolished. JFK has been nothing but bad for Plainfield and surrounding communities.

Anonymous said...

Condition is indeed Critical in reference to Muhlenberg and this election!

I received this flyer from a neighbor and was ready to help with distributing for Veronica Taylor until I read the flyer and realized the truth was being distorted. In defense of the truth, I have been following this election closely and commenting on these blogs (with my name) when I deemed necessary. To my knowledge, the truth is Rasheed Abdul Haqq never said he was in favor of JFK’s plan to build a 660 unit apartment complex on the Muhlenberg site, actually just the opposite. What I understood him as saying, he was definitely not in favor of it. I know politics and elections are sometime dog-eat-dog but, it shouldn’t be necessary to run an unscrupulous and deceitful campaign. In my opinion, each candidate should stand on their own advantage of accomplishments and goals. I being the one who at the outset spearheaded the fight against JFK and their proposal of a 660 unit apartment complex in my neighborhood would never vote for or defend anyone that was in favor of it. I wouldn’t vote for anyone that didn’t have our community’s best interest in mind. Alternatively, while Reverend Tracey Brown is a excellent Preacher, Tracey Brown did make the statement at the NAACP forum that she was in favor of affordable housing. Also, when speaking with her she went on to say that we needed more affordable housing in nice neighborhoods. So when I speak out against electing Tracey Brown it’s judging from her remarks she would be in favor of JFK’s proposal as long as it included some affordable units; although she said at the LWV forum she wasn’t in favor of JFK’s proposal for that neighborhood. I think she was right the first time, affordable housing in a nice neighborhood is what she would advocate for. The sheer notion that Tracey Brown would favor a 660 unit apartment complex in the middle of a low density, predominately single family neighborhood shows that she is out of touch with Plainfield and what is needed to move this city forward. That along with her lack of involvement in Plainfield as a whole, her unwillingness to come out to community meetings, her unwillingness to answer question about the PMUA, her lack of experience in city government, that fact that she believes two nights a month is all that would be required to satisfy her obligation to the city and her constituents. We all know this list can go on and on to prove she is not the right choice for a seat on our city council.

What I would love to know is who exactly is R.U.S.H? Is this a group? Are they truly interested in preserving our neighborhood or just getting who they want elected? Where were they when I was going door to door making the community aware of our JFK’s plan? Truly, my primary concern is stopping JFK from building a 660 unit in our neighborhood.