The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day: Remember the Fallen, Honor the Living

The Veterans Memorial at City Hall was dedicated in 2001.
It's a shame that Plainfield's veterans were left in such a bind by former mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, but the situation may provide an opportunity for the Mapp administration to show how to really address veterans' concerns.

As we take time on Monday to honor the nation's fallen, many will also be thinking of the needs of living veterans.

Plainfield's annual Memorial Day observances will center around the memorials at the flagpole at East 7th Street and Watchung Avenue and the Veterans' Memorial on the grounds of City Hall. The brief ceremonies get under way at 10:00 AM.

While President Obama is focusing attention on the plight of veterans in the overcrowded VA medical system, Plainfield has its own issues in providing for living veterans -- specifically the long-promised Veterans Center in the Monarch complex (which also house the Senior Center).

By the terms of the developer's agreement which Robinson-Briggs negotiated with Glen Fishman's Dornoch Enterprises, the space was to made available to the veterans only after all the condos had been sold.

Once the market collapsed and Fishman began to rent units, the issue ought to have been forced, but nothing was done by the Robinson-Briggs administration to resolve the Veterans Center (or indeed, any of the other outstanding issues).

I am told that the space is now being used primarily for storage and not as a rental office. Perhaps it's time for the Mapp administration to take some action on the veterans' behalf.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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