The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Life-threatening cold, but no evidence of lifesaving plans?


The navel-gazing City website advises who is working on Wednesday,
but nothing else -- and what is with that hokey 'seal'?


For the volunteers who devoted hundreds of hours to preparing a Transition report so that Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp could 'hit the ground running', it has been frustrating to witness the pace with which the Mayor's team is being assembled.

The second cold snap of the new mayor's term is no exception. With outdoor temperatures hovering at 7° above zero as I write, there is no evidence of a communications plan to push the word out to residents about lifesaving services offered by the City.

While the navel-gazing website advises that only 'essential personnel' will be staffing offices on Wednesday, there is no mention of what those without heat should do, or what efforts are being made by public safety personnel to ensure that none of Plainfield's homeless freeze to death because of the cold weather, which is expected to continue for several days.

The apparent lack of information underscores both the need for the Office of Emergency Management to have a plan for cold weather emergencies, and for the City to have communications personnel and a communications plan in place for such eventualities.

Those without heat need to know where to go to stay warm and what will be offered for them (beds? food? social services?).

What about renters whose landlords fail to provide heat? Where do they go? To whom do they complain about the lack of heat? What can the City do with recalcitrant landlords?

And what about Plainfield's homeless, many of whom are squatters in vacant, unheated and dangerous buildings? Who is watching out for them? Who is making sure they take advantage of the easing of restrictions on shelter services at the YMCA under 'Code Blue' conditions?

How is word to be gotten to a variety of residents, many of whom have no access to the Internet and do not read newspapers?

Residents are looking for lifesaving leadership for Plainfield, in great things and small. Isn't that a fair expectation?




-- Dan Damon [follow]


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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems as though Mayor Mapp and his administration need to do a bit more cleaning up. Looks like Media and Communication are waiting around to be dismissed rather than to show the new administration that they "Got This".

And what is up with that generic cut and paste City Hall seal? Tsk tsk tsk . . .

Anonymous said...

Clip Art?!

Did the IT department or the Media Department misplace the actual Plainfield City Hall SEAL?

Shame!

Anonymous said...

Just curious - how many people go to the shelters? Do we need as many as we have, or will one suffice?

Bigger question is why are people without heat? Seems to me that the larger issue is that the landlords need to be identified and fined if they have not supplied adequate housing. Perhaps that is what the administration is focused on. That, as Martha says, is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe its time for the residents of Plainfield to step up and stop having everyone else tell them how to live. By now, people should know what to do in an emergency. When the city finally steps up and starts acting like a city and has an inspection dept that gets out and inspects rental units like in other towns, it will eliminate many of these types of problems. All renters are supposed to have contact lists for their landlords. Not just for rent payments, but for service and emergencies as well. They should also have a copy of the Truth in Renting. It is the bible of renting for both landlords and renters. I know Plainfield has its share of scumlords who only want the rent money, but it is up to the city to enforce the rules for the landlords when needed. The same protections apply to the landlords when dealing with problem tenants. Lets see if you publish this since you have chosen not to publish my last comments. Thanks Dan.

Anonymous said...

Something is not right when City Hall is closed but McDonald's is open in a snow storm.

Anonymous said...

Plainfield received $284,160 in federal hazard mitigation funds after hurricane Sandy.

With Muhlenberg no longer available for hot meals and warmth, the federally funded health center should be required to have generators after it was closed for weeks after Sandy.

Alan Goldstein said...

There should be a role here for Community Emergency Response Team volunteers located throughout the city. Instead, our CERT are political appointees congregated in and around Pemberton Avenue.