The needler in the haystack.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Will tomorrow's Town Hall be 'political'?

An attendee at Sunday's Plainfield Democratic City Committee picnic wondered aloud if Tuesday's Ward 4 Town Hall would be "political".

In Plainfield? During the election season?

Folks have wondered why the town hall has come so late in the year (the custom has been for spring, not autumn) and why only this ONE has been announced.

Perhaps Council President Bridget Rivers and her colleagues have had other things on their minds.

The practice of town halls meetings in the four wards was begun by the late Mayor Al McWilliams early in his first term, as part of the strategic planning process in which he engaged the community.

As hundreds took part in the process there was a desire to "report out" the ideas and progress being made. Hence the ward meetings, which were pointedly noted as open to all and arranged in the different wards on different dates as a mater of convenience only.

McWilliams also had all department and division heads on hand to give more detailed answers to concerns and questions that residents might raise.

The town halls under his administration were always well publicized and well-attended.

Since they have been taken over as a vehicle by the City Council, the promotion and attendance have varied widely.

Councilor Williams drew my attention to the fact that this is the first real town hall for a general discussion since 2013.

Will Tuesday's meeting be "political"?

Given the state of relations between the Council and the Mapp administration, what do you think?

The Ward 4 Town Hall is from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.Tuesday, September 29, at the Clinton School, West 4th Street and Clinton Avenue. Parking in the school lot is limited; come early.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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