Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, May 31, 2018

With Rebecca Williams as a Freeholder, the ball is now in Chairman Mapp's court


UCDC Chair Nick Scuatari and Freeholder-elect
Rebecca Williams at Thursday's special convention.


Upwards of 500 Union County Democratic Committee members met in a special convention tonight (May 31) at Union County College to select a person to fill the vacancy created by Freeholder Linda Carter's move to the Assembly.

By unanimous voice vote they selected Plainfield's Rebecca Williams. Congratulations to our Rebecca on this milestone in her career of public service.

Now that Rebecca Williams has been selected to fill the Union County Freeholder seat, the next item of business is for Plainfield Democrats to fill the vacancy that Williams' departure for the Freeholder board creates.

Plainfield Democratic chair Mayor Adrian O. Mapp finds himself with several challenges as the city committee approaches filling Williams' citywide at-large seat.

First, there is the matter of a viable candidate, as any replacement will have to run again in the November general election; the winner of that contest will fill the balance of Williams' unexpired term to December 31, 2020.

With potential opposition candidates such as former mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and former Councilor Rev. Tracey Brown waiting in the wings, a lot hinges on the PDCC offering at least one compelling candidate to the City Council. (The PDCC is required by law to offer three names to the Council, which makes the final decision on who will fill the vacant seat.)


POTENTIAL CANDIDATES?

The first thing to note is there is no bench. Once the chairman pulled the plug on the New Democrats political club after he became PDCC chair, the party failed to develop further potential candidates with a citywide appeal and track record such as Williams nursed over nearly twenty years.

Among the current crop of Council members, only Joylette Mills-Ransome can be considered to approach Williams' experience and high regard. Unfortunately she is in the home stretch of a campaign to secure the Wards 2/3 at-large seat in her own right. So scratch that thought.

Council President Charles McRae is a relative newcomer and had to run twice to eventually win his seat representing Ward 3, achieving victory only when former councilor Gloria Taylor decided not to run. Representing just a single ward means he does not bring the citywide record and following that Rebecca earned as both a Councilor and as a community activist.

Councilor Cory Storch, currently the longest serving member (he will rack up 16 years with the completion of this -- his fourth -- term) is another possibility who only represents a single ward. Though he is well known in his own ward and certainly has always been mindful of the larger community, one has to wonder how well a white candidate would play in a city that is now mostly Black and Hispanic.

Steve Hockaday, who represents Ward 4 and is the Council's freshman member, is a protégé of the late Assemblyman Jerry Green and won his seat in a squeaker. Once again there is the lack of citywide campaign experience and a record on the Council, which are drawbacks at this time.

That leaves Barry Goode, Councilor for Wards 1/4. A tough and persistent door-knocking, street-walking campaigner, he is well-liked and has some citywide visibility. I think he is a good possibility for the nod. But then the problem would be filling his vacancy and the Chairman's grip on the First and Fourth Wards has never been beyond dispute.

Finally, there is the possibility that Chairman Mapp may favor a sitting PDCC member or even a complete novice.

(I am leaving Diane Toliver, the current Ward 1 incumbent, out of the discussion because I simply don't think she has any viability.)


THE STATE OF THE PLAINFIELD DEMOCRATIC PARTY

The chairman will also have to take into account the state of the local Democratic party, which has been in turmoil since the fractious campaign earlier this year to elect Sen. Nick Scutari to replace the late Jerry Green as chairman of the Union County Democratic Party.

That fight and its fallout as well as the resignation of the Mayor's former Chief of Staff John Stewart (who is also a PDCC committee member and officer) has left the PDCC struggling financially, costing it upwards of $30,000 in reliable annual contributions to the PDCC and various campaigns.

The Second Ward, which has always been Mapp's most reliable base, is in near revolt and several committee members have been boycotting PDCC meetings and the current primary campaign.

This has had the unfortunate effect of making Mills-Ransome's campaign more of a slog than it should have been.

Then there is the First Ward, where newcomer Ashley Davis officially has the party line against incumbent Diane Toliver who did not seek the party line but instead opted to run off the line.

Davis won the PDCC nomination in a fair and open process that was at every step under the control of Chairman Mapp.

Following the explicit instructions of the chair, she (and Mills-Ransome) set up separate campaigns and conducted separate fundraising efforts (which was not the custom in the days of the New Democrats).

Davis has done quite well and has been able to mount a full-fledged campaign with yard signs, two mailers, robocalls set for this weekend, and handout literature for when she walks the ward.

Learning that PDCC officer Carmencita Pile posted Toliver's campaign video in support of Toliver's candidacy to an alias Facebook account she maintains (as well as to another heavily trafficked Plainfield Facebook page) is causing a sensation throughout the First Ward.

Though Pile subsequently removed the posts, they will always be available on the Internet Wayback Machine for those care to see them.

As if this weren't enough of a concern, Mayor Mapp's email newsletter this past Friday (May 25) gave a laudatory profile of Councilor Toliver top billing -- right after the Mayor's piece and BEFORE his congratulations to our new Assemblywoman Linda Carter.

To say eyebrows were raised would be to put it mildly.

Once again, Congratulations to our new Union County Freeholder Rebecca Williams.

The ball is now in Chairman Mapp's court.





 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Sen. Menendez, Rep. Watson Coleman stump for votes Saturday in Plainfield


Saturday's rally in Plainfield will feature
Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman
who are at the top of the Plainfield ballot.

Sen. Bob Menendez, who is at top of the ticket in the June 5 Democratic Primary, will campaign in Plainfield Saturday in a get-out-the-vote rally aimed at revving Democrats up for next Tuesday's election.

Our own Congresswoman Bommie Watson Coleman will also be a headline speaker, along with Rep. Donald Payne, Jr., and Rep. Albio M.Sires.

The event is being hosted by Union County Democratic Committee chairman Nick Scutari, Assemblywoman Linda Carter, Assemblyman Jamel Holley, Assemblywoman Annette Quijano and Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp.

The rally will run from Noon to 2:00 PM at the Art Loft, 158 East 2nd Street (corner of Gavett Place).

Parking available in the public lot across Second Street (and Mayor Mapp also announced that the UCIA parking deck at the Jerry Green Office Building would be available for use by the public on Saturday).





 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

(UPDATED) Plainfield YMCA closing forever Thursday


The YMCA has stood at Watchung Avenue and
East 6th Street for 95 years. It closes forever Thursday.

[UPDATED at 11:20 AM: Board President Kieran Anderson informed me by text message Wednesday morning that while the building will no longer house the YMCA and is to be sold, the organiztion will continue to offer its programs at another location in the city.

Further, their labor attorney advises them that since there are fewer than 100 full-time employees (there are just 10), the WARN Act on noticing employees does not apply. -- Dan]

Word came out of the blue Tuesday evening that one of Plainfield's oldest and most cherished institutions -- the Plainfield YMCA -- is closing its doors forever as of the end of business Thursday, May 31.

Those who follow these things know that the YMCA has been in financial difficulties for quite some time -- since before the current CEO Ravenell Williams came on board.

The board has struggled valiantly to keep the organization afloat, and high hopes were helf out for the construction of a residential facility for those who "age out" of foster care.

Such a program was expected to provide individual living spaces for these late-teen young people as well as services to help them navigate the world of work, achieving financial stability and eventually moving out on their own.

Though partial funds for the project were designated by the state, the YMCA simply wasn't able to swing the deal.

According to the Plainfield Public Library (see here), which has one linear foot of YMCA records in its Plainfield collection, the Plainfield YMCA was actually organized in 1868, the year before Plainfield was incorporated as a city. That would make 2018 its 150th year of service to the community.

Though interest in a YMCA for African American residents surfaced in 1894, it wasn't until 1923 that a local African American dentist Dr. A. E. Thompson led a funding campaign that led to the establishment of the Moorland Branch.

When that building burned down in 1955, many in the African American community felt that it should not be rebuilt and that the Moorland Branch should be merged into the Central YMCA.

After much controversy, this was done, with the staffs and memberships of the Moorland Branch merged into the Watchung Avenue site.

In 1952, the creation of "family memberships" gave women and girls full access to the YMCA's programs, which was actually progressive for the time but had the unfortunate effect of putting pressure on its sister organization, the Plainfield YWCA.

2018 marks the 95th year that the YMCA has welcomed youngsters and adults to its nationally landmarked facility on the corner of Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street.

As sad as the closing is, it is even sadder that the YMCA and its Board did not see fit to give employees any more of a heads up than a notice on Tuesday. That certainly doesn't accord with state and federal law in these matters, but who you gonna complain to?




 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

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Monday, May 28, 2018

League of Women Voters candidate forum Wednesday


Spring candidate forum set for Wednesday evening.


Perhaps as a nod to the realities on the ground (it has been years since there was a viable Republican candidate, meaning the winner of Plainfield's Democratic June Primary is almost inevitably the winner in November), the Plainfield League of Women Voters is sponsoring a Spring candidate forum this Wednesday (May 30), from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the Emerson Community School.

Each of the two Council seats that are up this year is being contested.

In the Wards 2/3 at-large contest, Democratic incumbent Joylette Mills-Ransome is being challenged by Board of Ed member Cameron Cox, who is running as an independent Democrat.

If the Frist Ward conest, incumbent Diane Toliver is running as an independent Democrat (she did not seek the Democratic Committee's nominaton) and is facing lifelong Plainfielder and newcomer to public service Ashley Davis.

Both Davis and Mills-Ransome have the endorsement of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee, Chairman Adrian O.. Mapp and Councilors Barry Goode, Steve Hockaday, Charles McRae, Cory Storch and Rebecca Williams.

You can read biographical information on the candidates and their answers to the League questionnaire on the LWV website here.

Emerson Community School is at East 3rd Street and Emerson Avenue. Parking in the school lot and on the street (mind not to block neighbors' driveways).



 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Plainfield Commemorates Memorial Day Monday at City Hall


Plainfield observes Memorial Day
Monday at City Hall, 10:00 AM.
 


 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Plainfield Dems give Rebecca Williams the nod for Carter's Freeholder seat


Longtime City Council member Rebecca Williams
gets PDCC backing to replace Linda Carter on
the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.


In an email to Plainfield Democratic City Committee members on Saturday afternoon, Chairman Adrian O. Mapp informed them that the screening committee he had appointed at the May 8 PDCC meeting (see my post here ) had recommended Councilor Rebecca Williams as Plainfield's nominee for the Freeholder seat vacated by Linda Carter when she became an Assemblywoman on May 24.

The committee, chaired by Nancy Jordan, with Bobby Gregory and Ricky Hunt as members, issued their report in writing to Chairman Mapp earlier on Saturday afternoon.

While the letter of recommendation says any of the three candidates interviewed "would have made Plainfield proud," the committee's unanimous recommendation was for Williams, who they felt was "the most qualified and [offers] the strong voice needed for Plainfield."

Since Union County Democratic Chair Nick Scutari has already called a special county convention for next Thursday (May 31) to fill Carter's Freeholder seat, Chairman Mapp pointed out there was no time to call a PDCC meeting to ratify the local screening committee's recommendation and he was therefore asking members to join him in his support of the recommendation.

The Union County Dems' special convention will be held at Union County College's Cranford campus, Thursday, May 31, with doors opening at 6:30 and the convention set to begin at 7:00 PM.

Congratulations to Councilor Williams on her nomination!


 -- Dan Damon [ follow ]

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Linda Carter sworn in as Assemblywoman (video)




 

Plainfield's own Linda Carter was sworn in Thursday afternoon as the newest member of the New Jersey Assembly, taking the seat left vacant by the passing of longtime Assemblyman Jerry Green.

At the same session, Asm Jamel Holley of Roselle paid tribute to the late Assemblyman Green. You can view the video of his presentation here.




  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Memorial service for Dorothy Allen Henry Friday


Dorothy posed with a group of mothers for a Mothers Day
mailer in support of candidate Rebecca Williams.
(Left to right) Dr. Inez Durham, Carol Bicket, Carol Anderson-Lewis,
Rebecca Williams, Dorothy Henry and Linda Barnes.

 
Plainfielders will gather Friday at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church to pay their final respects to their beloved Dorothy Allen Henry.

For more than thirty years, Dorothy was an educator with the Plainfield Public Schools, beginning at Stillman School, later becoming a district-wide resource teacher modeling the 'open classroom' approach.

By the time of her retirement in 1991, she had been a leader at four schools:  Maxson (vice prinicipal), and Stillman, Woodland and Evergreen, at each of which she was the principal.

I first met Dorothy in the 1990s, when she was active in the mayoral campaign of the late mayor Al McWilliams.

When the New Democrats coalesced around McWilliams, she became an active member and won a seat on the Plainfield Democratic City Committee to represent her District (2-7), which she held for more than ten years. During each campaign season, she would stump her district with whatever candidate was on the line in tow. She was a model of an active and committed committee person.

Always elegantly dressed and coiffed, Dorothy had a presence just by entering a room. She was a great conversationalist and had a sharp wit (which could be withering if she was crossed).

Living alone in her lovely and comfortable home on Hillside Avenue, she kept a large dog. He was both a companion and a guard. Though I am a dog person, he never did get to accept me and would pounce on the door whenever I rang the bell and had to be put away so we could have a conversation.

The family will greet friends at the church between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM.

The service will begin promptly at 6:10 and will include an opportunity for those present to share their memories of Dorothy. The service will close at 7:30 with the singing of the 'Now the day is over'.

Light refreshments will be served after the service in the church's Guild Room.

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church is at East 7th Street and Watchung Avenue. Parking is in the church lot on First Place, on the street, or in the Swain Galleries lot.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Busy Thursday: Carter swearing-in, Mills-Ransome fundraiser


Thursday's honoree Counclor Joylette Mills-Ransome (2nd from left)
recently posed with fellow candidate Ashley Davis and
Assemblywoman-designee Linda Carter as well as
Councilor at-large Rebecca Williams

 

Thursday is set to be a busy day in Plainfield politics.
LINDA CARTER SWEARING-IN
Plainfield's own Wonder Woman Linda Carter is expected to be sworn in as New Jersey's newest Assemblywoman when the Assembly convenes on Thursday, May 24.


Carter, who is currently serving as a Union County Freeholder, will take the seat made vacant by the passing of longtime Plainfield political power Assemblyman Jerry Green.


Carter will resign the Freeholder seat to move to the Assembly, meaning that the Union County Democratic Committee will now have to convene a special convention to fill her seat on the Freeholder board until the November general election.

MILLS-RANSOME FUNDRAISER
Also on Thursday, Wards 2/3 candidate Joylette Mills-Ransome will be fêted at a cocktail reception fundraiser at the home of Mayor Adrian and First Lady Amelia Mapp.


While the invitation lists the Mapps as hosts for the event, the cosponsors are political heavyweights Sen. Nick Scutari of Linden and Assemblyman Jamel Holley of Roselle.


In keeping with the heft of the sponsors, the invitation suggests $300 and $500 donations. (It is longstanding custom among those who have supported Mayor Mapp and others on the ticket, to be welcome at these events and make a contribution that fits their circumstances.)


The reception is from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. St. George Manor, the home of Mayor Adrian and First Lady Amelia Mapp, is at 535 West 8th Street. Parking is on the street. Please be mindful of the neighbors' driveways.


  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Special Council meeting Monday to adopt amended 2018 budget


After the State weighs in, and amendments
are made, the Council takes up the 2018 budget.

 
Plainfield City Council will meet in a special session Monday, Mary 21, at 7:00 PM to adopt amendments to the 2018 budget.

As was mentioned at last week's Council meeting, the amendments are due to imput by the State, which must review and approave all local budgets before their final adoption.

The comp[lete budget resolution, showing the amended amounts in a separate column, is available online here.

The Council Chambers/Municipal Courthouse is at Watchung Avenue and East 4th Street. Parking available on the street and in the lot across from Police Headquarters.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Freeholder Linda Carter tapped to fill Assemblyman Jerry Green's seat


Freeholder Linda Carter will take up the Assembly
seat left vacant by the death of Jerry Green.

 

Municipal committee members of the towns in Legisltive District 22 met in a special convention Saturday morning (May 19) at the Scotch Plains-FAnwood High School.


The only item of business was to select a person to fill the vacancy left by the death on April 18 of longtime Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green.

Plainfield's Linda Carter, currently serving as a Union County Freeholder was the only name put in nomination.

Carter expects to be sworn in as a member of the lower house when the Assembly next meets on May 24.

She will serve in the vacancy until the November general election, at which time the voters will fill the vacancy for the remainder of Green's term.

Once Carter resigns the Freeholder seat, it will become vacant and will need to be filled by a vote of a special convention of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Linda began her career in public service as a Councilor under the late mayor Al McWilliams and has served eight years on the Freeholder board.

Congratulations to our hometown Wonder Woman!




  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fish Fry friendraiser for Ashley Davis this Saturday


Ashley and crew are hosting a Fish Fry
this Saturday (May 19).

 
Plainfield's First Ward Democratic candidate Ashley Davis and friends are hosting a Fish Fry friendraiser this Saturday (May 19) from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Prices are as follows --
  • Fish Dinner (with 2 sides) - $15.00
  • Fish Sandwich - $10.00
  • Dessert - $2.00
  • Beverage - $1.00
Meals may be picked up at 64 Berkeley Terrace (between East Front Street and Milton Place).

For pre-orders and donations, text (908) 409-5348 with your name, email address and order.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Monday, May 14, 2018

Council takes up $450,000 settlement for Plainfield firefighter at Monday's meeting


Lotta moola in settlement Council
takes up Monday evening.
 
 
Plainfield City Council is set to take up a $450,000 settlement with a Plainfield firefighter at Monday night's business meeting.

The resolution (R 185-18) does not specify the nature of the matter, although it does seems it had moved along a fair distance, since the resolution metnions "discovery", meaning that both sides had to divulge matters that would be brought up at a potential trial.

As in all NJ governmental settlements, the entity (in this case, the City of Plainfield) does not admit any wrongdoing.

What the public thinks about all this may be a different matter.

City Council meets at 8:00 PM in the Council Chamber / Courthouse at Watchung Avenue and East 4th Street. Parking is available on the street and in the lot across from Police Headquarters.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Drizzly day does not dampen Dem candidates' enthusiasm


Candidates and elected officials pose as rally begins.
(L to R) Councilor Rebecca Williams, Councilor Joylette
Mills-Ransome (2/3), candidate Ashley Davis (1), and
Freeholder Linda Carter.


Volunteer Roz Bradshaw serves ice cream
to a young attendee.

 
A drizzly, chilly day did not dampen the enthusiasm of Democratic candidates who held a rally at Jerry Green (Park-Madison) Plaza Saturday afternoon.

With music by DJs Kai and Khadijah throughout the afternoon, shoppers and strollers gathered to sample free ice cream cones, purchase T-shirts or jewelry from vendors, and browse handouts at a literature table staffed by volunteers Marie Davis and Rose Marie Cathcart.

Mayor Adrian Mapp presided as Freeholder and Plainfield candidates addressed attendees. (I missed this portion, having stepped away for an errand.)

The rally marks the beginning of serious campaigning for the Democratic Primary which is three weeks from this coming Tuesday.

This coming Tuesday, May 15, is the final day to register for the June Primary election. Accordingly, Municipal Clerk 'AJ' Jalloh has announced that the City Clerk's office will be open on that day from 6:00 AM to 9:30 PM to register voters.

For your convenience, you may download a voter registration application in advance from the City's website here. For more information, call the Clerk's office at (908) 753-3222.

The Clerk's office is on the first floor of Plainfield City Hall at the corner of Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street. Parking and access at the rear of the building.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Democrats to rally at Jerry Green Plaza (Park-Madison) Saturday


Assemblyman Jerry Green, sitting at the Plaza that
should bear his name, during a 2013 campaign rally.
 
 


At Tuesday's Plainfield Democratic City Committee meeting, Chairman Adrian O. Mapp announced that the PDCC would sponsor a campaign rally this Saturday (May 12) at the Park-Madison Plaza (which I am going to henceforth refer to as the Jerry Green Plaza -- screw the UCIA if they can never get their act together to put his name on the building despite having adopted a resolution years ago).

The rally is scheduled to run from Noon to 4:00 PM, and will provide residents an opportunity to hear from Freeholder candidates Alexander Mirabella, Andrea Staten, and Kimberly Mouded, as well as City Council candidates Ashley Davis (Ward 1) and Joylette Mills-Ransome (Wards 2/3 at-large).

There will also be, according to the flyer, "music and fun".

There should be ample parking in the street level lot adjacent to the parking deck. Speaking of the parking deck, according to the development agreement it was to be available to Plainfield residents evenings and weekends -- I wouldn't try parking there yet, though. However, when I went inside to take some photos from the upper level, I did see several vehicles from downtown businesses parked on the lower level during the day.  You tell me how that works.




  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Plainfield Dems roar approval of Carter candidacy for Green's Assembly seat.


The Democratic City Committee rallied behind
the candidacy of Freeholder Linda Carter for the
vacancy creted by the passing of Asm Jerry Green.

 
At Tuesday's Plainfield Democratic City Committee (PDCC) Meeting, committee members roared their approval of hometown Freeholder Linda Carter as a candidate to fill the LD22 Assembly seat left vacant by the death of Assemblyman Jerry Green on April 18.

PDCC chairman Adrian O. Mapp explained that state law requires the vacancy to be filled by a Special Convention (of the deceased Assemblyman's political party -- in this case the Democrats).

That convention is scheduled for next Tuesday, May 15, at the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School at 7:00 PM.

Nominations will be made from the floor and voting will be by secret ballot. In addition to his hearty endorsement, Chairman Mapp indicated he will place Carter's name in nomination at the convention.

Councilor Cory Storch posted his endorsement of Carter on his blog (see here), and First Ward Council candidate Ashley Davis said, "Freeholder Linda Carter has always been an inspiration for me ... and though it's not formalized, [she] is my mentor and I look forward to working with her on her new endeavors." Councilor Rebecca Williams plans to post an endorsement to her blog.

Carter thanked the Committee for its support, reviewed the homework she had done in reaching out to party chairs for support and indicated she would follow in Jerry's footsteps if selected.

Once the Special Convention decides, Carter would have to resign her Freeholder seat before being sworn in to the Assembly at its May 24 meeting.

If all this takes place as expected, a Special Convention of the Union County Democratic organization would have to select a replacement for Linda's Freeholder seat along the same lines as above.

That convention would probably fall in mid- to late June.

Noting that two persons had already expressed interest in the seat (Councilors Storch and Williams), Mapp announced the appointment of a three-person screening committee composed of Nancy Jordan (chair), Bobby Gregory and Ricky Hunt (husband of the Mayor's chief of staff).

Registered Democrats who are interested in being screened for the position should contact Nancy Jordan at nshuggy@aol.com, as soon as possible for instructions on how to proceed.

If either Councilor is appointed to the Freeholder Board, the PDCC would then have to submit three names to the Council to fill that vacancy, from which the Council would select one. (An interesting question is whether a Councilor who was one of the three names would have to abstain from the vote.)

In the event a Council vacancy is filled, that person would have to run in the November general election for the balance of the term of the vacated seat.

Got all that?

Whew!!!



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Monday, May 7, 2018

Joylette Mills-Ransome, Wards 2/3 Democratic candidate, hosts a Comedy Night fundraiser Thursday




Comey Night fundraiser for Joylette
Mills-Ransome Thursday at Dem Headquarters.

 
Joylette Mills-Ransome, the Plainfield Democratic Party's candidate for the Wards 2/3 at-large seat is hosting.a Comedy Night fundraiser this Thursday evening at Plainfield Democratic Headquarters.

The event gets under way at 7:00 PM and features comedy by Mr. B. Goode (aka Councilor Barry Goode) and vocals by songstress Carol Howell.

Contributions are a minimum of $25 and may be made at the door. Checks should be made payable to "Mills-Ransome for Council".

Plainfield Democratic Headquarters is at 35 Watchung Avenue (next to Antojito's Restaurant). Parking is available on the street, in the lot behind the building or in the adjacent public parking lot.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Unusually full plate for Council agenda session Monday


The usual suspects are at it again, Mondy,
7:30 PM in the Council Chambers/Courthouse.

 

Plainfield City Council has an unusually full plate for its agenda-setting meeting tonight (May 7). Many people -- especially those who are not regular attendees at Council meetings -- may think the the business meeting (net Monday), where action is taken is the place where decisions are made.

That would be a mistake. On most items, it becomes quite clear from the deliberations at the agenda-setting session how the vote is going to go down at the following week's business meeting.

Those who have matters before the Council would be wise to pay attention to the agenda sessions.

In addition to the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee's presentation of its report, the Council will be taking up several major contract agreements (Police, Fire, Municipal Employees, and United Service Workers), as well as establishing the new municipally-controlled Special Improvement District.

In addition, attentive readers will note that e-ticketing is on its way to Plainfield. For those not familiar, the system records all the information about the parking or traffic offense, including your license plate number, vehicle description, time and place of offense and type of offense. A printed ticket from the handheld device is placed on your windshield (or handed to you) and the data is downloaded to central record-keeping once the agent is back in the office.

There are also two annoying resolutions granting street openings on two roadways that have a 5-year moratorium because of recent paving. Thank God Plainfield demands a heat patch to repair and conceal the work. (You can see the difference in North Plainfield, which seems to have no such requirement.)

One curious item is Resolution H, seeking "advice and consent" to the appointment of Carmencita Pile as the mayor's designee to the Planning Board. I was present at the PB meeting last month at which Ms. Pile was sworn in, so it's a done deed.

Seems to me the use of the language "advice and consent" is inaccurate if not misleading, since the appointment is the mayor's to make -- these is no advice or consent sought or needed from the Council. However, since the Council actions (resolutions and ordinances)  are the official record of the corporation's doings, I wonder if it wouldn't be more appropriate for a resolution asking the Council to record the action taken by the mayor.

Lastly, congratulations are due to Cynthia Blake on being appointed the city's Certified Purchasing Agent.  Many readers will know Cynthia as the public face of the Mayor's office (along with Marilyn Nieves!) for many years. All the best to this dedicated public servant in her new responsibilities!

City Council Agenda session gets under way at 7:30 PM tonight (May 7) in the Council Chambers / Courthouse, Watchung Avenue at East 4th Street. Parking available on the street and in the lot across from Police Headquarters.




  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Plainfield Dem Committee meets Tuesday: Linda Carter on agenda


Campaign updates and temporarily filling the
late Jerry Green's Assembly seat are on the agenda.

 
Chairman Adrian O. Mapp has called a meeting of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee for this Tuesday, May 8, at Plainfield Democratic Headquarters at 7:00 PM.

Among the items on the agenda is a discussion of the process for filling the vacant seat of the late Assemblyman Jerry Green.

Plainfield's own Freeholder Linda Carter has the backing of nearly every Democratic chair in the 22nd Legislative District and is expected to be a shoo-in at the special convention which will be called to fill the vacancy until the November general election.

That meeting has been called for Tuesday, May 15, at 7:00 PM at the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.

Visitors are always welcome at PDCC meetings, though they may only participate in the discussions with the permission of the chair.

Plainfield Democratic Headquarters is at 35 Watchung Avenue (next to Antojito's Restaurant). Parking available in the rear and in the adjacent public lot.



  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Newcomer bus tour a great success



Tour participants gather for a group photo
before departing on the Newcomer Bus Tour.
(Click on image to enlarge.)



The Plainfield Recreation Division's first-ever Newcomers Community Tour on Saturday was a huge success, according to Superintendent of Parks & Recreation Veronica Taylor.

Participants gathered in the City Hall parking lot, making introductions and chatting until departure time. Each participant got a Rec Division tote filled with goodies.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp made a stop to greet the group on his way to another appointment.

The group rode in a handsome air conditioned tour coach provided by Plainfield-based Amaker & Porterfield (remember that the next time your church or group needs transportation; check out their Facebook page here).




Amaker & Porterfield is a Plainfield-based
full service transportation company.


Denise Riley, a Realtor Associate with NJ Realty Pros (check out her website here) and a 20-year Plainfield resident, was particularly enthusiastic.

"There were so many interesting things I didn't know that I was busy all through the tour making notes which will be so useful when I am showing Plainfield properties."

Riley, who lives in the East End says one of the things she learned is that the grapevine in her back yard may indicate that her home was once owned by an Italian family.

(One of the less attractive points of Plainfield's history is its ugly past of housing discrimination against Blacks, Jews and immigrants. Thankfully that is behind us.)

Taylor said two things that struck her were the group's interest in architecture and historic districts and the excitement at the variety of recreational opportunities and facilities the City provides for residents of all ages and interests.

Asked if the success of this maiden tour meant more were in the works, Taylor responded with a hearty "Yes!"

You can check out other opportunities offered by Recreation on the city's website here, follow them on Facebook here, or call for information at (908) 753-3097.




  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Recreation hosting free bus tour for newcomers Saturday


The tour begins at Plainfield City Hall, which is listed
on the National Register of Historic Places and will
celebrate its (approximate) centennial in 2019.

 

The Division of Parks and Recreation is hostng a bus tour Saturday morning for new residents and folks who are considering buying a home in Plainfield.

The free tour will take about an hour or so and attendees will ride in an air-conditioned over-the-road coach that will give an excellent view of the city's many recreational and historic attractions. Beverages and light refreshments will be provided.

Participants will gather in the City Hall parking lot in tine for the scheduled 11:00 am departure (don't be tardy!).

For more information or to RSVP (optional), call Recreation at (908) 753-3097.

City Hall is at Watchung Avenue and East 6th Street. There is ample parking in the lot behind the building.

Check out some of the best the Queen City has to offer. Even oldtimers may find some surprises!




  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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