The needler in the haystack.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Jerry Green screws Plainfield (Part 2)


State Route 28 follows a complicated path
from Terrill Road to the Dunellen line.
 

The road to Hell, as Assemblyman Jerry Green may know, is paved with good intentions. The road to Plainfield is apparently paved with no intentions at all.

In the runup to next Tuesday's Democratic Primary election, I am taking a look at some of the ways Jerry Green has screwed Plainfield over the past two-plus decades.

Today: Roads.

With 121 miles of paved streets and road, Plainfield must constantly be on top of repair, resurfacing and rebuilding efforts to properly maintain this critical infrastructure.

What has Jerry Green, the "third most powerful man in New Jersey", done to help? Precious little, in fact sometimes even obstructing necessary road work.

STATE ROUTE 28

Under Mayor Adrian Mapp's administration, the City of Plainfield has tried to get the state to take over the maintenance of the city's only State HIghway.

Route 28 enters Plainfield from the east at Terrill Road as South Avenue and proceeds westward to Roosevelt Avenue to Fourth Street (one way west) to Plainfield Avenue to West Front Street and thence to the Dunellen line. The westbound portion on Fourth Street is matched by an eastbound portion on West 5th Street from Plainfield Avenue to Roosevelt Avenue.

All told, there is between seven and eight miles of state road within Plainfield itself. The maintenance of all of this is the sole responsibility of the City of Plainfield -- unlike every other State Highway, which is maintained by the NJDOT.

When the City approached to state to resume the care and maintenance of its roadway through Plainfield, it was rebuffed.

Did Jerry Green, the "third most powerful man in New Jersey", help? He didn't say a word in support of the city's plea for assistance.
COUNTY ROADS

There are five County Roads within the city limits, for which Union County is supposed to retain responsibility for upkeep --

  • CR 531 (Park Avenue)
  • CR 601 (7th Street, East and West)
  • CR 603 (Plainfield Avenue)
  • CR 611 (Terrill Road)
  • CR ^20 (Front Street, East and West)
Some work was done on some of these roads in recent years -- all of it booked when Sharon Robinsion-Briggs was Jerry Green's hand-picked mayor.

However, since Adrian Mapp took office in 2014, Jerry Green has seen to it that not one dollar of Union County money is to be spent on County Roads in Plainfield.

For calendar year 2015, Union County has announced a road repair program that will affect twelve towns (see county press release here) -- but totally excluding Plainfield.
CITY STREETS

Councilor Cory Storch was among those with foresight who, nearly a decade ago, proposed a long-term plan for the repair and maintenance of the city's streets, something which had not been attended to in thirty years.

A comprehensive assessment was undertaken by an engineering firm and the City Council agreed to fund a portion every year through bond ordinances.

That was until Jerry Green protegé Sharon Robinson-Briggs took the reins.

During her two terms in office, road repairs were repeatedly put off, and the long-term plan fell hopelessly behind schedule.

Work that was done appears to have used sub-par materials and/or been done in a shoddy manner.

I defer to Dr. Harold Yood (Olddoc) on road matters, but he has pointed out on several occasions the poor quality of work done on Watchung and Woodland Avenues.

And the work done on East Second Street was of such poor quality that the entire job will have to be part of a makeover, when it should have lasted for at least another ten years.
Jerry Green's road repair motto appears to be: Reward your friends, punish your enemies, and screw Plainfielders.

WHAT"S AT STAKE?

As Jerry Green sits at the top of the greased pole of political power, his main goal is not to get shafted.

Elected two years ago as the chair of the Union County Democratic Committee after the ignominious demise of former chair Charlotte DeFilippo, Green has got to prove his mettle in this year's primary election to have a chance of getting the chairmanship for another two years.

Make no mistake, there are sharks in these waters.

Meanwhile, the Plainfield Democratic City Committee seats, on which Green's power as county chair rests, are also up for a vote in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, June 2.

Green, who after more than twenty years was unable to field a full slate of committee candidates this go-round is facing a strong challenge from Mayor Adrian Mapp's Plainfield Democratic Organization. Not only have Mapp's forces reached out to the Latino community (Jerry has no Latinos on his slate), they have enlisted younger people in the political process -- where most of Jerry's slate is old hands with 40 or more years in the trenches.

A defeat for Jerry Green in the City Committee contest could spell the end for him as Union County chair as well.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?

If you are tired of swerving to avoid potholes in Plainfield's state, county and local roads, there is something you can do.

If you are tired of wondering when -- or if -- the streets on which you live and travel most frequently will ever get their fair share of attention, there is something you can do.

Whether you are a registered Democrat or an unaffiliated voter, your participation on Tuesday can make the difference in Plainfield's future.


You can vote for the candidates in Column C -- re-electing Cory Storch if you live in the 2nd Ward, and electing Barry Goode if you live in Wards 1 or 4. In every ward, you will have an opportunity to elect a male and female friend or neighbor to serve on the Plainfield Democratic City Committee. Those names will also appear in Column C.

If you are an unaffiliated voter (not registered in any political party) you may still participate in the Democratic Primary by signing the voter book at your polling place, thereby indicating your intent to vote as a Democrat.

If you have already voted by absentee ballot Thank You! If not, lay out your schedule for Tuesday June 2 and do your duty. If you're tired of being screwed by Jerry Green, now is the time to return the favor.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]


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