F rom Plainfield City Hall
  Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
One Plainfield.  One Future.
  
This week's Women's History Month tribute goes to local historic figure M. Elizabeth Chitty (1928 - 1998), an outspoken Black woman who challenged segregation policies in the City of Plainfield, created a literacy program for troubled teens and founded the Black Librarians Network of New Jersey. The Plainfield High School Library was named in her honor. Chitty worked as a librarian with the Department of Veterans Affairs and served three terms as president of the Plainfield Board of Education.

 My weekly updates:
  • President Obama and First Family Visits Selma
  • Anti-Tethering Ordinance Passes
  • Plainfield Education Update
  • Administration and Finance Update
  • Economic Development Update
  • Department of Public Works and Urban Development Update
  • Public Affairs and Safety Update
  • Workforce Development
  • Arts and Culture
  • Resources

Creating One Plainfield - One Future,

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield
President Obama and First Family Visits Selma  
President Obama and the First Family Visit Selma
President Obama and the First Family Visit Selma

 President Obama marked the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in Selma, Alabama on Saturday, March 7, 2015 with an appearance at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, one of the most prominent symbols of Blacks' struggles for the right to vote. In his remarks, he laid out plans for a post-presidential period in which he will try to address socioeconomic challenges in the world including economic empowerment for the disadvantaged, expanded opportunities for girls and the programs that help young men in a project/program he calls "Becoming a Man."  In addition to the First Lady, daughters Malia and Sasha traveled with their parents to hear him discuss his vision for the country. 

  

 
Tethering Ordinance Passes     
Anti-Tethering Ordinance
At Monday's Council business meeting, many supporters of this ordinance filled the Municipal Courthouse.  Animal activists came to the council meeting in support of legislation eliminating extensive tethering and leaving our canine friends exposed to harsh weather without appropriate shelter. The ordinance passed unanimously on final passage.

New Rules:

Limiting the time of tethering

Cannot leave an unattended animal outdoors for more than 30 min. when:
Temperatures are below 32 degrees or over 85 degrees
Storms are in the forecast
Adequate water, food, and a dry shaded area for animal
Violations may result in seizure of animal and placed into adoption
Owners may be fined between $100 to $1,000 for violations

Plainfielders love their furry companions, and this ordinance will help ensure the safety of our family pets.
 
Plainfield Education Update

I am demonstrating my commitment to ensuring a quality education for the children of Plainfield by partnering with Superintendent Anna Belin-Pyles. 

 

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the 2015-2016 School Year will be held at Plainfield High School Cafeteria, 950 Park Avenue, on Saturday, March 14, 2015 from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m.   All children who will be 5-years-old by October 1, 2015 should register for Kindergarten, as well as all current preschool 4-year-olds.  Families are encouraged to register their children so that they may attend Kindergarten in September 2015. 

If you miss registration by March 14, there will be evening hours available at the District Office, located at 1200 Myrtle Avenue, on Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm.  For additional information and registration requirements call 908-731-4321 or visit www.plainfieldnj12.org.  

  

Superintendent's 300-Club Celebration

Superintendent of Schools Anna Belin-Pyles will host a special event for 50 elementary and middle school students who excelled in the classroom and achieved perfect scores on the standardized test for 2013-2014 school year. "This is a great achievement by our students," said Superintendent Belin-Pyles. "We planned an earlier event but were delayed by scheduling issues. Nonetheless, we want to take this opportunity to recognize our students for their outstanding work and encourage them to continue to succeed!" 

The students will be honored at a luncheon to be held Friday, March 20, 2015 at Maxson Middle School.The event was delayed because of scheduling conflicts and weather issues. 

  

Kenny Carter signs with Syracuse University

Kenny Carter, a defensive end football player for the Plainfield HS Cardinals, signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Syracuse University.The 6' 4", 250-pound Carter was excited and relieved. He is looking forward to joining the "Orange" at Syracuse.He described it as a "Dream come true." Carter, who also had a scholarship offer from Temple University, became an official Syracuse Orange at a ceremony held at Plainfield High School. His mother, Cathy and Plainfield Coach Jason Glezman were by his side. Although primarily a defensive player, Carter could have different roles at Syracuse. He said, "They said I could play in the defensive Line or the Offensive Line and maybe even Right End.  I'm just excited to be going to Syracuse." "This is a great day for Kenny Carter and for Plainfield... It's exciting to see such a great young man work so hard for four years and to have it pay off like this," said Coach Glezman.

  

2015 Union County Mountain Conference Division Bowling Champs

Congratulations to the Varsity and Junior Varsity Bowling teams for winning their first-ever Division Championships in the 2015 Union County Mountain Bowling Conference.

Congratulations to Varsity Bowlers Nathan Thomas, Shaquille Privott, Kayla Chance, Davone Carter, Isaiah Boone and Alicia Glass; and Junior Varsity Bowlers Kelvin Alvarado, Mikaya Harris, Askiaa Nash, Deysi Solano, Ahmad Hodges, Asia Smith, Jennifer Peralta, Betsy Contreras, Jackeline Fonseca and Jessica Fonseca for doing such a great job. You make us all very proud!

  

The champions won the Union County Mountain Conference Division where participating schools included: Dayton, Union Catholic, Plainfield, St. Mary, Summit, Oratory Prep, Roselle and Hillside.

 

 
Administration and Finance Update

Moody's Announces an Improved Outlook for Plainfield

Moody's Investors Service released a ratings report March 12, 2015, assigning an A1 rating to the $14.5 million 2015 General Obligation Refunding Bonds the City is planning to sell. Moody's also removed the City's underlying negative outlook.

As Mayor of Plainfield, I am pleased with the A1 rating, and look forward to the sale of the refunding bonds. We can now save our taxpayers over $400,000 in interest charges based on this upgrade and on the refinancing. The removal of the negative outlook demonstrates and affirms that my administration has the City moving forward and in the right direction.

Economic Development Update
Service Providers Directory

On Monday, March 9, 2015, my administration introduced the first citywide Service Providers Directory to members of the Plainfield City Council. The directory includes contact information for more than 200 service providers within the City of Plainfield including, but not limited to, those working in the areas of Education, Childcare, Youth, Food and Nutrition Programs and Emergency Assistance. The directory was compiled by an intern, Ms. Jensine Wright, who worked with the Department of Community Development in conjunction with the Rutgers's Internship Program. This is one of the many initiatives my administration has undertaken which ensures residents will have access to adequate information, as needed. Electronic copies are available in English and Spanish and are available on the Plainfield City website: www.plainfieldnj.gov

For additional information regarding the directory, please contact Ms. Elaine Dunn- Brown, Office of Community Development at 908-753-3233.  

Click Here to download Service Providers Directory

Comprehensive Economic Development Maps
On Saturday, March 7, 2015, there was a joint meeting of three Plainfield boards and one commission: Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation, and the Shade Tree Commission.  After thanking the volunteers that serve the City of Plainfield with their many hours of service, I took the opportunity to speak on my vision for economic development, its importance to the future of Plainfield, and the need to be business friendly.  Important elements of a business friendly administration are improved processes, resources for developers, and the selection of organizations wanting to do business in Plainfield.  To that end, the Assistant Zoning Officer, Ronald Johnson,  introduced a set of comprehensive development maps of the following areas:  


City of Plainfield Current Development

TOD Transit Oriented Development Downtown Planfield

TOD Transit Oriented Development North Avenue Historic District

TOD Transit Oriented Development Netherwood Status

To view these maps, click on the above links.  These comprehensive maps illustrate current development and project status.  This is an example of tools and resources to come that will assist developers and business partners with current information.

Department of Public Works Update

Pothole Action Plan   

It has been a tough winter for all of us. As expected, recent temperature changes have exposed severe potholes throughout the city.

 

Since the beginning of the year, the Department of Public Works has been repairing potholes between snow events and as weather allowed. Crews were only able to use cold asphalt material due to the unavailability of hot material at the asphalt plants and extreme weather conditions. Crews applied a total of sixty (60) tons of material.

 

Starting this week, the Department of Public Works will begin an aggressive plan to address the many requests that have been received concerning potholes.

 

ROAD ASSIGNMENTS, PRIORITIZING AND SCHEDULING OF WORK:

  • Road inspections are being done on a daily basis with a high priority on emergency routes and main arteries of the City.
  • Repairs are prioritized and crews are dispatched to ensure that all required repairs are responded to in a timely fashion.
  • Requests from the public are being responded to according to their priority.
  • Roads requiring additional work will be noted and included in the upcoming road projects.

COUNTY ROAD ISSUES:

  • Plainfield's DPW staff is working closely with the County Road Division to make certain all requests are being forwarded and completed.

POTHOLE BLITZ:

  • Extra staff is being assigned to pothole repairs and they are being strategically deployed throughout the city to address the increase in pothole requests.
  • The two new 4-ton asphalt hotboxes will allow for proper application temperatures and better compaction. In addition, the new boxes have a larger load capacity allowing staff to increase the amount of material to be picked up. This will reduce travel time to and from the plant, which will reduce fuel cost and response time.

POTHOLE NOTIFICATION:

 

POTHOLE HOT LINE NUMBER: 908-753-3427

All calls from the public regarding pothole repairs will receive a response. My staff will return all missed calls and provide an update on the actions we are taking.

 

How to Report Potholes in Union County 

County roads are identified by their blue route signs, which include the letters "CR" followed by a three-digit number.

 

To report a pothole or any other issue with a County road, use an online form available through the Union County Department of Public Works and Facilities Management at ucnj.org.

Persons without Internet access can report potholes on Union County roads by calling 908-789-3660.

 

Plainfield Historic Preservation Commission  

Our team at City Hall continues to work with the Plainfield boards and commissions to help further economic development and the preservation of Plainfield's architectural heritage.  At the February 24th meeting, the Historic Preservation Commission elected William Michelson as its new Chairman replacing Sandra Gurshman.  Commission member Larry Quirk was elected Vice Chairman.  The Commission also selected Barton Ross as their new historian, replacing long time (30 year) historian Gail Hunton who retired. I greatly appreciate the many volunteer hours of service to the City of Plainfield by all the residents who serve on all of the Plainfield broads and commissions.

 

Public Affairs and Safety Update
Community and Youth Engagement
In my administration's efforts to engage our community and youth, the Police division participated in the celebration of the 100th Day of School.  Students at Evergreen Elementary School collected and donated items to the Plainfield Police Division Domestic Violence Unit.  Sgt. Lisa Burgess, Sgt. Johnny Henderson and Detective George Rivera were on hand to receive the donation on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.  Students collected over 150 small stuffed animals, miniature cars and other toys.  The Plainfield Police Division Domestic Violence Unit will use them to help children in crisis situations.  Director Carl N. Riley and the Department of Public Safety would like to thank Ms. Natapoff, Mrs. Marrone and all the children of Evergreen Elementary School for your generous donation.  I am pleased with the engagement and collaboration between our youth and police force. 
Workforce Development
Recruitment Event with Spherion Staffing

TUESDAY - 03/17/2015
10:00am - 11:00am

Location:
75 Veterans Memorial Drive East

Somerville ,  NJ   08876
Somerset

County:  Somerset

What to Bring:  A resume if you have one.

Event Details:  Looking for: - Biostatisticians with SAS Programming - Application Specialists - Promotional Program Specialists - Training Analysts - Administrative Assistants and Executive Assistants - Documentation Coordinators - Healthcare Reform Strategists Please register at http://bit.ly/1CRKSdm or e-mail resume to Njjobs@gmail.com

Directions to Event:  Location of event: Department of Labor & Workforce Development 75 Veterans Memorial Drive East, Somerville, New Jersey 08876 Conference Room B
Via  Mapquest

Additional Information:  Please allow plenty of time to find the building, parking and get in to the conference room for a 10am start!

Sponsored By:  Business Rep

Contact Information:
Event Contact:  Amanda Modale
E-mail:  amanda.modale@dol.state.nj.us
 


Devereux NJ Job Fair

FRIDAY - 03/20/2015
10am - 2pm

Location:
370 Campus Drive Drive
Suite 120
Somerset ,  NJ   08873
Somerset

County:  Somerset

What to Bring:  Please bring your resume and non-provisional driver's license.

Event Details:  Devereux NJ, the largest behavioral healthcare organization in the nation, is hosting an interview day for open direct support professional roles in group homes for the developmentally disabled. A qualified candidate will be 21 years or older, possess a valid non-provisional driver's license, and have a minimum of a HS diploma/GED. Experience working with the developmentally disabled population, as a CNA/ Home Health Aide, or personal or volunteer experience with this population is preferred, but not required. Qualified candidates will receive on the spot interviews with hiring managers.

Directions to Event:  Please follow MapQuest directions
Via  Mapquest

Additional Information:  Can't Attend??? Please apply online at jobs.devereux.org.

Sponsored By:  Devereux NJ

Contact Information:
Event Contact:  Sara Ralph
E-mail:  sralph@devereux.org
Phone:  (732) 786-5573
Website:  www.devereux.org
 


Union County Job Training Program



Arts and Culture
Plainfield Easter Egg Hunt 

March 28, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon
Cedarbrook Park (Cricket Field near Shakespeare Garden)

Click Here for More Information 

  

The Plainfield Symphony  

The Plainfield Symphony's 95th Season opens with the presentation of

  "Bernstein on Broadway" at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, March 28th, 2015, featuring special guest Jamie Bernstein, conductor Charles Prince, Grammy Nominee Alexander Silber and Will Reynolds. The program includes symphonic dances and vocal selections from Westside Story, On the Town, Wonderful Town, and Candide.

  

  

Frontiers International Westry Horne Cultural and Heritage Series Schedule 

The purpose of this series is to educate and provide space for intergenerational dialogues on topics of African American history and culture.

 

Click Here for Complete Schedule
 

NEW CHILDREN'S LIBRARY HOURS
The Children's Library
will now open at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
Resources
United Way Internet Essentials
In partnership with Comcast and Union County College, United Way of Greater Union County is proud and excited to announce the launch of Internet Essentials Computer Classes in Plainfield. With the help of our partners, we will successfully increase computer literacy among our residents.    

Classes are free to all Plainfield residents and will consist of (10) 3 hour hands-on workshops focused on the following:
 
*      Introduction to Computers
*      Introduction to the Internet
*      Keeping Children Safe on the Internet
*      Essential Email Skills
*      Basic MS Word Skills
 
We invite you to share the attached flyer with anyone interested in learning more about computers.  To register, please have individuals contact call 908-353-7171 x137 or 100 or email  info@uwguc.org. 

Click Here for More Information

Carpooling to school has benefits

For many families, the school year is a very busy time. Between  making lunches and taking the children to and from school, it may feel like you're always in a hurry.

But weekdays can be more manageable if you share the school driving responsibilities with other families, otherwise known as"carpooling."

What is carpooling?

Carpooling is a type of ride-sharing that allows busy people to take turns with other neighborhood parents. Carpooling helps you:

  • Save time and money.
  • Minimize the wear and tear on your car.
  • Reduce traffic during peak hours.
  • Get to know other parents and community members.

Choosing carpool drivers

  • Share the idea of carpooling with responsible parents also interested in participating.
  • Try to make sure that participating drivers have cars that are in good condition and all valid documents (registration, insurance, etc.).
  • Figure out how many children can safely ride in the car, depending on its capacity.
  • Keep the phone number and address of each parent in case of emergencies.

Recommendations for drivers

  • Leave your house early, with enough time to pick up all the children on time.
  • Have children under age 13 sit in the back seat, and make sure they wear their seatbelts. Children younger than 8 years old must ride in a booster or car safety seat.
  • Before driving to school, make sure that all the car doors are closed properly and use the child safety locks if your car has them.
  • Never leave children alone in the car, not even for a minute.

Advice for driving in school zones

  • Drive slowly when you're in a school zone and always obey the speed limit.
  • When driving behind a school bus, make sure to stop when the red lights flash. Never try to pass a bus.
  • Try not to block or park in front of the school entrance or exit.
  • Drop off the children in specified loading/unloading zones. Wait until you see them go into school before leaving. Notify the teacher who will be picking up the children after school each day.

AARP Tax Preparation

AARP tax counselors will provide local members with free tax counseling services from Monday, February 2nd to Wednesday, April 15th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Appointments are required. Please Call 908-753-3506 make your 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.
  


Creative Writing Contest
  


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Until Next Time

As the snow melts we can all look forward to spring and to brighter and better days in Plainfield.  Have a wonderful weekend!