The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wrapup: Muhlenberg, Temp Budget, Transit Village

Getting under way at last?
A brief wrap-up of events from Plainfield's busy week: The Muhlenberg Hospital meeting, the temporary budget and the Transit Village designation.


Thursday's Muhlenberg Hospital forum was well-attended, though the cavernous PHS cafeteria did not make it appear so. The consultants gave an overview after introductory remarks by Mayor Mapp and turned the meeting over to the public for comments and suggestions.

Many residents had given thought to positive health-related uses for the campus and all were outspoken against the JFK proposal for 600-plus united of 'luxury' housing.

One item of interest was a woman with long blond hair who kept her snow white coat on throughout the meeting as she sat in the back of the room and took notes on a laptop.

There will be two further opportunities for the public to speak out on the future of the hospital property: March 24 at Clinton School and March 29 at Emerson Community School. Both start at 7 PM.


Friday's special Council meeting was one of the shortest on record, and the three items were addressed in about twenty minutes.

A temporary budget, whittled down by the Council to just 30 days, was passed on a vote of 6-1, with only Councilor Reid opposed. (Councilor Taylor teleconferenced in from Atlanta and took part in the whole meeting.) The budget was not without a little drama, as Reid offered a motion to amend the proposal by cutting the appropriation for the Mayor's office from $57,000 to $33,600 for the month. Seconded by Greaves, it failed 4-3 after garnering only one other supporter -- Taylor.

The St. Mary's Good Friday procession resolution passed unanimously without comment after it was clarified that it did not meet the requirement of a 60-day advance notice.

Even though Administration and Finance Director Ron West tried to explain the third motion, it took some effort for the public to understand that the previously adopted resolution contained some (small) errors that needed to be corrected by replacing the original resolution with a corrected one. Done unanimously.


Plainfield finally got its Transit Village designation this past week. The process was begun under the late mayor Al McWilliams and languished under Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs until finally picking up steam in 2011 after NJIT consultants helped fill in some needed gaps in the city's proposal.

The city's plans in place for both the main train station and the Netherwood station neighborhoods make it possible for residential and mixed used development that focuses on pedestrian-friendly opportunities to live, shop, work and play.

The confluence of these three items in one week mark a forward motion in the Mapp administration's efforts to get the city moving forward after the stagnation of recent years.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

The"woman with long blond hair who kept her snow white coat on throughout the meeting" was asked if she was from the press or what and responded "I'de rather not say."

Anonymous said...

Who was the mystery woman? Anyone know? Dan, glad you noticed too!