The needler in the haystack.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Council OKs Bilingual Day Care transition

The program will continue to operate in the current facility.

With Councilors Vera Greaves, Gloria Taylor and Tracey Brown absent, Plainfield's City Council special meeting on the Bilingual Day Care Center (BDCC) situation got under way at 7:11 PM on Thursday in a crowded City Hall Library.

While the topic of having a nonprofit entity take over the operation of the BDCC has been discussed for years, the Mapp administration made the move as the retirement of founding director Eva Rosas-Amrault looms.

in his remarks last evening, Mayor Mapp noted that the situation was painful, had been studied for a long time and was being driven at this time partly by Rosas-Amirault's upcoming retirmenet (meaning staff changes would be on the horizon). He also moted that seventy percent of the public schools' enrollment is now Latino.

City Administrator Rick Smiley also noted that the HOPES organization would offer more services to both the children and their families than is the case with the BDCC currently.

Council President Bridget Rivers graciously president over the public comment, but was firm about the time limits.

Several people spoke against the transition, as though it meant the end of the BDCC -- even though the Mapp administration had taken pains to point out that would not be the case.

Resident Alan Goldstein spoke in favor of the transition, citing his experience on the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee years prior, when the matter had been the subject of discussion and a recommendation to the Council.

Resident Dottie Gutenkauf attempted to get into a back-and-forth with Council President Rivers, who stuck to her guns. In the end, Gutenkauf asked her questions and the administration gave its answers, without any back-and-forth.

Councilor Storch, elected chair of the committee of the whole in the absence of Councilor Brown, finally offered the two resolutions --
  • To enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with HOPES to mange the transition process; and

  • To submit a layoff plan to the state (employees will be given 45-day notice after the state's approval, usualy within 30 days of submission of a plan).
The roll call vote on both resolutions was unanimous.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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