From Plainfield City Hall
  Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
One Plainfield.  One Future.
 
My administration is focused on the successful implementation and completion of old and new initiatives and projects which are designed to address the concerns and needs of our citizens. 

 This week we place a spotlight on the following areas:
  • Immigration Roundtable Discussion
  • Education Mayor's Playbook
  • Economic Development Update
  • Public Affairs and Safety Update
  • Department of Public Works and Urban Development Update
  • Event - Decarcerating Plainfield and NJ Youth
  • Arts and Culture
  • Resources

Creating One Plainfield - One Future,

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield
Immigration Roundtable Discussion   

Last November, President Obama put forward an executive action on immigration since the legislative branch of the federal government failed to act on the issue. However, this week, the judicial branch took action. A federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of a motion by 26 states that effectively halts the president's order.

 

I attended a roundtable discussion on immigration, Tuesday, February 17, 2015, hosted by Mayor Baraka of Newark along with the New Jersey Urban Mayor's Association. The plan was to discuss how cities in New Jersey are preparing to implement aspects of the president's executive order - but instead, the focus became reaction to the court ruling.

 

I was very disappointed in the ruling of the U.S. District Judge which somewhat halted the effective dates of these policies that the president put in place.  You learn more about the roundtable on immigration and how the court ruling affects almost 300,000 people this week by clicking the link below: 

 

Urban Mayors Say Court Ruling on Obama Executive Orders Won't Stop Advocacy
Urban Mayors Say Court Ruling on Obama Executive Orders Won't Stop Advocacy
 
 
The Education Mayor's Online Playbook
I am doing my part in helping to secure a good education for the children of Plainfield by partnering with our local Board of Education members and the Superintendent to ensure our children perform up to their potential.   

I encourage you to keep abreast of the Education Mayor's Online Playbook through your reading of the Educational Excellence Task Force's report and the reports provided by the Mayors of Akron, OH and Tacoma, WA.

Economic Development Update
New Businesses are Opening and Transforming Downtown
Ribbon Cutting - New Plainfield Restaurant  
On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, I performed a ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening of Itzayana Restaurant & Bakery.  This new establishment has wonderful cuisine and amazing baked goods.  The location of  this restaurant is: 117 Park Avenue Plainfield, NJ. Give this new restaurant and bakery a try.  We are transforming downtown Plainfield, one business at a time.

Grand Opening - Professional Financial Services Firm 
A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening is scheduled for Farmers Insurance on Monday, February 23, 2015 at 9am.  Farmers Insurance is located at 110 East 4th Street.  I look forward to seeing you there and welcoming this new business to Plainfield.

Economic Development Community Event
An important component of economic development is to provide resources for Plainfield businesses and my administration is doing just that. On February 18, 2015, the Office of Economic Development, led by Carlos Sanchez, held an economic development workshop for local businesses. Local Plainfield business Itzayana Restaurant and Bakery hosted this community event. Workshop topics and resources included entrepreneurial programs and business incentives, including the Google Get Your Business Online, Plainfield City Loan Fund, UEZ Sign and Facade, and the Property Tax Rewards programs.  This event was an excellent forum for discussing challenges facing local businesses, collaborating and networking.  You can expect more of these events in coming months. 

Department of Public Works and Urban Development Update
Improved Approach and Experience - Occupancy Process
The experience an entrepreneur or future home owner faces is important to my administration.  Professionalism and taking a consultative approach has been the cornerstone of improving the certificate of occupancy process.  The inspection processes and schedules have been mapped out with the use of technology.  I am pleased to share with you a letter of appreciation from a local building/business owner:

Subject: Letter of Appreciation

"I just wanted to thank you, E. Watson and others of the Mapp administration for your pro business attitudes and efforts regarding the permitting and occupancy process for my building in Plainfield. The Mayor and his administration is to be commended for a change for a more positive business in our Queen City."
Public Affairs and Safety Update
Plainfield Public Affairs and Safety: Winter Precautionary Tips  

The Fire Division would like to remind residents of the following 10 precautionary tips as we make our through the remainder of the winter season:
 
1. In case of fire call 911.
2. If a fire is suspected, have everyone evacuate the house immediately.  Have a designated meeting place outside the home.  If you can, have evacuation drills in the home regularly.
3. Keep fire extinguishers on hand in the home and make sure everyone knows how to use them.
4. Carbon Monoxide is known as the "Silent Killer".   Maintain that all flue pipe connections, furnace and hot water heaters, are properly sealed to prevent carbon monoxide gas in the house.  All fuel burning appliances should be vented to the outside and kept clear of snow and ice if they are at the basement level of the home.
5. If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds evacuate the home immediately and call 911, move quickly to the fresh air outside.   Advise the fire department, EMS or the emergency 911 dispatcher if anyone in the home may be experiencing flu-like symptoms or headaches.
6. Never use a gas generator, grille, propane, natural gas or charcoal device inside the home, garage or basement.   Never use heating devices in the home that run off car batteries.   Never store diesel, gasoline or kerosene in the home.
7. Kerosene Heaters are outlawed in the city of Plainfield.
8. Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts from freezing.         
9. Emergency kits for your car should include:  a shovel, flashlight, battery operated radio, emergency flares, booster cables, blanket, first aid kit, water, extra batteries, necessary medication, windshield scraper just to name a few.
10. Make sure you have your heating appliances and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year.  It's not too late now if this hasn't been done.
 
The Department of Public Safety and Public Works would like to thank residents for their continued support and cooperation during inclement weather. 
Event - Decarcerating Plainfield and NJ Youth
Decarcerating Plainfield and NJ Youth will be the theme of a panel discussion at the Plainfield Public Library on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 6pm in the Louise Davis meeting room.

Several local and statewide organizations are joining forces and inviting the public to participate.

Plainfield Keep Youth and Streets Safe (KYSS) which was formed to call for an end to street violence in Plainfield, the statewide Decarcerate the Garden State, Plainfield Peoples Organization for Progress and the Plainfield View blog site edited by David Rutherford who is also a newly elected school board member are joining ranks to bring this discussion to town.

Click on links below for additional information:

Arts and Culture
Plainfield Symphony Orchestra  

The Plainfield Symphony's 95th

Season Annual Free Afternoon Family Concert, "The Orchestra Grows Up",  will be presented at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, February 21, 2015, under the baton of guest conductor Michael Avagliano. The program is

a musical tour through the history of the symphony, featuring selections from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic to the Modern era.  

 
Black History Month Program Celebrations:
Ivy Visions, Inc. 501�3 and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Theta Phi Omega Chapter will present their annual African American History Program at

3:00 p.m. Sunday February 22, 2015, 3:00 PM, at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, 716 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ. The program will feature established and aspiring artists showcasing their repertoire of   talents - vocally, poetically, instrumentally, oratorically and through dance.  A reception will be held in the Fellowship Hall of the church after the program. This "FREE" event is made possible through a grant from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the  Arts, and administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.  Info Contact: Lonzella Brice (lpbrice@aol.com), Marilyn Erwin (melgerwin@verizon.net) or Ethel Parker (parkere1@verizon.net 

 

Members of Masjiullah of Plainfield, New Jersey celebrates Black History Month with the presentation of the unique program, "Islam In African American History," at 7:00 pm Friday, February 25, 2015, at the Plainfield Public Library, 8th and Park Ave., Plainfield. A professional panel of presenters will navigate their way through history and reveal information about a chain of events which re-shaped the landscape of African Americans living their lives as Muslims from the time of slavery to emancipation. This timely program provides a glimpse into the rich, and mostly unknown, legacy  of the African American Muslim Community. Info Contact: Maxine Salaam, Community Liaison, 908-337-0889 or ummimax@gmail.com 


duCret School of Art - 36th Annual High School Art Show
Come and view a great art exhibit from New Jersey high school students in their junior and senior years.  Art categories include:  Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel, Pencil, Pen & Ink, Printmaking, Serigraph, Mixed Media, Traditional & Digital photography and Graphic Art. [No hand crafts, sculpture or pottery] Prizes will be awarded at the reception.

Date: Friday, February 27th 
Time: 7pm - 9 pm 
Location: duCret School of Art (auditorium) 
1030 Central Ave Plainfield, NJ 07060  
(908) 757-7171
Resources
AARP Tax Preparation
AARP tax counselors will provide our members with free tax appointments from Monday, February 2nd to Wednesday, April 15th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Call 908-753-3506 for an
appointment.

Bring the following to your appointment:
* 2013 federal and state income tax return if you filed
* 2014 federal and state income tax  booklet
* 1099 SSA and/or 1099 Forms
* W-2 Forms per employer
* 1098 Form if you own a mortgage
* Social Security card for all dependents
* ID for anyone ages 18 and over.
* All child care and dependent care provider info, including employer's name, SS # or EIN #.
* Your 2014 Tax Receipt
* All rent receipts or total annual rent paid if you are a tenant.

If you're interested in having a PTR done, please have your proof of taxes paid completed by the City Hall Tax Office prior to making an appointment.
  
IRS Can Help if W-2s Are Missing
In most cases you get your W-2 forms by the end of January. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, shows your income and the taxes withheld from your pay for the year. You need your W-2 form to file an accurate tax return. If you haven't received your form by mid-February, here's what you should do:
 

How to Become a U.S. Citizen: Know the Basics

The process of becoming an American citizen requires planning and time. Knowing in advance what to do will help move things along a lot smoother.

The video featured in this blog highlights some general requirements that you must meet in order to become a U.S. citizen, such as:

  • Meet the minimum age requirement
     
  • Be a permanent resident of the United States and remain in the country while your naturalization is being processed. Note: your marital status may affect how long it takes to process your application.
     
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English
     
  • Have basic knowledge of U.S. history and government
     
  • Be a person of good moral character
     
  • Take the oath of allegiance to support and defend the United States and the Constitution
     

For detailed information about how to become an American citizen, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) website or call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283, 1-800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired).

 

Becoming a U.S. Citizen: What You Need to Know
Becoming a U.S. Citizen: What You Need to Know
 

 



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Until Next Time

Stay warm and have a great weekend!