Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Feedback on Youth Summit, Ward 3 meetings

The Ward 3 meeting was held at Hubbard School.
This past Thursday night was hopping in Plainfield with three public meetings (and a performance at Cedar Brook School that got lost in the shuffle).

I took in parts of the Youth Summit and Ward 3 meetings. Resident and former Board of Ed member Terri Slaughter-Cabbell also did,  and wrote up her thoughts on Facebook, which I am posting below.


This was the third of three planned "listening session' to get input from young people and other residents to help shape the upcoming citywide Youth Summit (set for mid-January).

I got there shortly after it got under way and found about 35 people drawn into a discussion facilitated by the group organizing the Youth Summit. There were a good numer of young peole there and they took an active part in the discussion.

I will post more about this important event as the time draws nearer.


While the City Council scheduled four Town Hall meetings near the end of 2015, all went without a hitch except for the Ward 3 meeting, which was twice rescheduled. As presented, Councilor Gloria Taylor stood the concept on its head to turn the meeting into "The Gloria Show."

Town Hall meetings are an opportunity for elected officials to listen to concerns and questions from residents, and that's how the other three were run. Not so this one.

The meeting Taylor constructed was taken up with presentations (on worthwhile topics, but more than enough for a two-hour meeting) and left no time for questions. One attendee told me that only one participant got to ask a question before time ran out.

Members of the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District were miffed to find Taylor billing the District as a "sponsor" of the event, which they say definitely was NOT the case.

Some people have said they heard there were a hundred people in attendance. I counted 37 before I left at 7:30 PM and some who stayed told me that very few people came later and some left, so that was probably it on balance.

Here is how Terri Slaughter-Cabbell saw the meeting (you can see her Facebook post here) --

Plainfield has a habit of scheduling multiple meetings on the same night and tonight was one of those nights.

There was the meeting on the Teen Summit that started at 6 and the 3rd ward meeting at 7. Now, being me, I'm going to try to make them both. So I went to the teen summit meeting at the library at 6 which was very interesting (I should have stayed). I was impressed by the number of youth there and how vocal they were.

But I left to go to the 3rd ward meeting (being that I live in the 3rd ward) which was billed as a "Community Meeting", but was anything but. Each of the other 3 ward meeting have been good. They Welcome you to the meeting, then we dialogue. The COMMUNITY member asks questions, states concerns and any other comment they may have, there is conversation. I was soooooo disappointed (although not surprised) that my Councilwoman went completely left field.

She scheduled speakers and if you had a question on their presentation, you asked questions pertaining to THEIR presentation. A gentleman from SIDS (I forget his name) who represents the businesses on South Ave and downtown (who by the way does not live in NJ, let alone Plainfield) spoke of what they have done here, the family day downtown, the Christmas trolley on South Ave and Front St, (what does that have to do with the 3rd Ward) and the Christmas decorations.

The next speaker was the Supt of Schools, okay that is important not only to the 3rd ward but to everyone in Plainfield, but that is what we have monthly BOE meeting for.

The next speaker had just started which was Sgt. Brown, and Lt. Ken Reid who were speaking about the police uniform cameras and the system that lets them know when shots are fired. OK we heard that at the 4th Ward meeting.

This is when I left. It was 8:15, they were just getting started, we only have the school until 9 and there was to be another speaker on Historic Neighborhood Revitilization to come after that.


I'm not even going to speak on how long Councilwoman Taylor went on her tangents (just attend a council meeting and you know how she can go on) or her co-host Robinson-Briggs. This is just another example (to me) on how out of touch Mrs. Taylor is with her constituents. I know this was long and I apologize but I had to get if off my chest.
Well put, Terri!

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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