Delivered to 15,000 Plainfield "doorsteps" Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Introducing Plainfield's newest Council member: Elton Armady

Councilor Armady, a lifelong 4th Ward resident,
is a proud Penn State graduate.

By way of introducing Plainfield City Council's newest member Eltaon Armady, I am posting below the email he sent to PDCC committee members in anticipation of being one of three candidates recommended to the City Council.

On Monday, June 18, five of the six sitting Council members voted to seat Mr. Armady as the replacement for Rebecca Williams, who resigned the citywide at-large seat when she was appointed to the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

As you are all aware (this was addressed to PDCC committee members), Councilwoman Rebecca Williams was recently selected by the Union County Democratic Committee to fill the vacancy left by Assemblywoman Linda Carter on the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. With her departure, the at-large seat on the Plainfield City Council has become available. As a result, I’m reaching out to all members of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee to seek your full support in being nominated to fill the vacancy and be the party’s candidate in November to fill the rest of her unexpired term.

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my background to those of you who don’t know me well. I’m the son of Nigerian immigrants who moved to this country in search of better opportunities. After meeting in Houston, Texas, where I was born, my parents moved to New Jersey. My parents, three siblings and I have been residents of Plainfield’s fourth ward for twenty-nine years. From an early age, my parents have always stressed the importance of getting an education to be successful in life. As a result, I’m a proud graduate of Penn State University where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing in 2009, a Master of Business Administration in 2016 and am currently pursuing my Master of Public Administration through their online World Campus, which I hope to complete in 2019.

I believe that I’d be uniquely qualified to join the Plainfield City Council given my experiences at the federal, state, county and local levels of government. As an intern on Capitol Hill, I was given the opportunity to work in both Houses of Congress. While there, I was able to work for the late New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, former Congressman Rush Holt and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Through those positions, I was able to develop a deep understanding of the political process by working with legislative staff on national policy issues, attending committee hearings and tracking floor votes and debates.

After graduating with my MBA, I worked as legislative aide to the late Assemblyman Jerry Green. In that role, I advised the assemblyman on legislative and public policy matters, and provided constituent services to district residents. I currently work as a program analyst in the Department of Economic Development at the County of Union, where I manage all facilities and public improvement projects that are funded by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Notable projects that I’ve worked on include the rehabilitation of the Plainfield Public Library’s steps and the installation of a walking path at Milt Campbell Field. As the neediest community in the county’s consortium, Plainfield receives the lion share of the grant every year, which comes out to about 23% of $4.5 million (or ~$1 million annually). In addition to facilities and public improvements, the grant also funds many social services and housing programs in the city as well.

At the local level, I was elected to the Plainfield Democratic City Committee in 2017. I’ve also made it a point to regularly attend city council meetings starting in January to get a better command of local issues. Early this spring, I was nominated by Councilman Cory Storch and appointed by the city council to serve on Plainfield’s 2018 Citizen’s Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC). As a member of the committee, I worked with my colleagues to analyze the city’s budget and make recommendations on the administration’s funding priorities. At this month’s upcoming council meeting, I expect to be appointed to join the city’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) to offer my insights on the possible expansion of the historic district and work with members to address other issues.

As a 32-year-old millennial candidate, I pledge to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the council if I’m appointed. The initiatives that I’d focus on include the following:
  • Regularly attending public events and community meetings to understand and address resident’s concerns in order to provide a high level of constituent service;

  • Engaging our seniors with new programs (such as music, arts and exercise);

  • Collaborating with businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide jobs and career development opportunities for our youth;

  • Working with ALL of my council colleagues to ensure that timely and fiscally responsible budgets are passed and the city’s A1 long term bond rating increases;

  • Identifying ways for the city’s departments to use performance measures to determine how efficient programs are being run and where savings can be made;

  • Using the connections that I’ve developed over the years to liaise with all levels of government to advocate for Plainfield’s needs;

  • And partnering with the Mapp Administration to continue moving Plainfield forward!
I hope you will join me in welcoming Elton to the City Council and look forward to great things in the future.

 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

View today's CLIPS  here. Not getting your own
CLIPS email daily? Click here to subscribe.