From Plainfield City Hall
  Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
One Plainfield.  One Future.
 
I hope you and family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Did you know on this day in U.S. history - in 1933 the 31st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing prohibition, was ratified?  Interesting history fact for you to ponder.  Anyway as the year is coming to a close, and we are all busy with the upcoming holidays, I wanted to take this opportunity to connect with you and give you updates on recent developments and important initiatives.

Wishing you and family a great weekend!

Creating,
One Plainfield - One Future

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield
Ferguson: Where Do We Go From Here?
Following the tragic news and death of Michael Brown, millions of Americans and people globally have focused their attention on the unfolding events in Ferguson and Staten Island.  In recent days, peaceful protests, and anguished emotions have equated to the lack of resolve and reconciliation.  These events have uncovered a deep distrust between communities and public safety.  At times it feels like as a society we have stepped back fifty years.   I believe as people who collectively make up a community, we all have a responsibility in addressing this issue together.  Brother to brother, sister to sister, neighbor to neighbor - reaching for all the things that unite us instead of holding on to things that divide us.  

On December 1, 2014, President Obama and Vice President Biden met with elected officials, community and faith leaders, and law enforcement officials to discuss how we can strengthen neighborhoods across our country through building trust between communities and law enforcement.  The White House had announced new steps to help strengthen the relationships between law enforcement agencies and communities across the country that focus on collaborative relationships - President Obama's Plan to Strengthen Community Policing:
  1. Reform the way the federal government equips local law enforcement, particularly with military-style equipment
  2. Invest in increasing the use of body-worn cameras and promoting proven community-policing initiatives
  3. Engage law enforcement and community leaders in devising new ways to reduce crime while building public trust

President Obama is planning to issue an Executive Order directing relevant agencies to work together with law enforcement and civil rights and civil liberties organizations to develop specific recommendations within four months.

Award Presentation by N.F.B.P.A.
On November 18, 2014, I was honored by the N.F.B.P.A. (National Forum for Black Administrators).  This award was for my service and leadership in the City of Plainfield.  I was honored to receive this award for several reasons: 
  1. I believe a huge responsibility as Mayor is to lift people up.  And to give hope by finding resources and opportunities for our residents. 
  2. As a proud American, my commitment to public service has never waivored. 
  3. Receiving an award is an honor but also serves as a reminder of who I am and where I come from.  If I am able to achieve so can anyone with heart and determination.

I thank the N.F.B.P.A. for the recognition and award.

The Innovation in Surface Transportation Act SB 2891
As Mayor of Plainfield, I had joined Senator Cory Booker in support of the Innovation in Surface Transportation Act. Five Senators from both parties introduced this bill that would enable communities more access to, and control over, a share of the federal transportation dollars that flow to their states.  Local leaders are held accountable for local transportation needs.  We need better access to the right resources to meet our communities' needs.  This bill will help give us a seat at the table and award funds in a fair and competitive process, and help direct investment towards projects with the greatest R.O.I.  This will be a milestone towards restoring funding for local needs based on decisions on how transportation funding is spent by those who know their communities.  This proposal is now active in both chambers of Congress - Stay tuned for further developments.
Turkey Distribution

On November 25, 2014, the First Lady and     I visited several locations  including the Plainfield Senior Center, Cedarbrook Apartments, Towers West, Richmond Towers, and Covenant Manor to give away Turkeys for Thanksgiving.  Giving away turkeys for Thanksgiving has been a long standing tradition the First Lady and I participate in year after year as to be able to give a little something to help our Plainfield community celebrate the holidays.  The expression of surprise and happiness from unexpected recipients of these turkeys never fail to touch our hearts.

Plainfield Shut-In Council

During this Holiday Season I would like to give special thanks to the Plainfield Shut-In Council led by President Anna Knightfor 66 years they delivered a much needed service to the citizens of Plainfield.

Members visit home bound children, young adults, senior citizens, and local nursing homes. Their outreach provides smoke alarms, toys, essential personal things, plants, special holiday activities and dinners. 

The Shut-In Council meets the first Monday of every month at Plainfield City Hall Library.   The Shut-In Council may be contacted at shutincouncil@yahoo.com.
College Achieve Central Charter School Open House
Education and providing the best experience for your child is key to their development and future.  The College Achieve Central Charter School in Plainfield will be holding an open house on December 19, 2014.  You will have the opportunity to meet the founding team and learn about the school's mission. This is the pre-application period for K, 1st, 2nd, 5th, & 6th grade. For further details on this open house event - click on the link below: 

Link to Additional Resource � 

Department of Administration & Finance Update
Forensic Audit:
During my campaign, I stressed the importance of the need to conduct a forensic audit of our city's past financial practices that occurred over the past nine years.  As my administration has worked diligently to put proper controls and best practices in place, a deep dive into our past financial practices by an independent and expert firm to uncover issues that may still linger today is absolutely essential.  I am pleased to inform you, on the evening of December 1, 2014 the resolution approving the authorization to award a multi-phased professional services contract to Parentebeard to conduct a forensic audit moved to the next Council meeting - business meeting to be voted on - more to follow.

Giving Staff Tools they Need to Succeed:
We have strong talent working in City Hall to serve you the residents of Plainfield.  I believe in providing our staff with the tools to succeed in their roles.  On December 1, 2014, the resolution authorizing a contract to Mitchell Humphrey's Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) was moved to the agenda for a vote at the next Council Business meeting scheduled for December 8th. Not only will my administration implement a much needed tool, they will also fine tune a process that will be able to accomplish the following:
  • Track violations, invoices, payments, and certificates
  •  Organize and store complex property and land use information 
  • Integrate Tax Assessor database
  • Manage the construction process from permit application through plan review, inspections, and certificate of approval or occupancy
  • Provide remote access for inspectors via hand-held devices
  • Dynamic GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping capability)
Economic Development Update

Ribbon Cutting Event - New Dunkin Donuts!

 I am pleased to announce there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Dunkin Donuts scheduled for December 15, 2014 - starting at 10AM.  The location of the new Dunkin Donuts is at the intersection of Clinton Ave. and West Front Street.  This is the first ribbon cutting event for a new business in the west end in many years.  And this new business has hired nine new Plainfield employees!  Come by for the ceremony and enjoy a cup of coffee and donuts!

 

Property Tax Rewards Program:

An important aspect of transforming the Plainfield retail experience is to provide tools and incentives for our local businesses to succeed.  I believe there is an opportunity to leverage incentives offered by a Property Tax Rewards Program that would stimulate our local economy and benefit both local businesses and local Plainfield consumers. This program would award rebates to property-owners, tenants, and non-residents who shop at local Plainfield businesses. The homeowner would receive a credit against property taxes and the renter and non-resident would receive a rebate check. At the previous Council Agenda Setting Meeting a resolution authorizing a Property Tax Rewards Program was on the agenda and will be up for vote at the December 8, 2014 Council Business Meeting.

 

Sign & Facade Program:

My administration is currently working with local Plainfield businesses in helping them leverage the Sign & Facade Program.  This program is available to any business in the U.E.Z . (Urban Enterprise Zone) and offers up to a $25,000 maximum with a 25% equity investment from the local business.  This is a reimbursable grant based on an approved application granted by the City of Plainfield.  Upon project completion, 75% of total project costs to a maximum of $25,000 will be awarded to the local business.  The Sign and Facade Program will be up for vote at the next Plainfield Council Business meeting.

 

MAACO Automotive Body Repair Shop

On November 6, 2014 the Planning Board granted site plan approval to Application PB 14-27, to convert  8,748 square feet of existing warehouse space to an automotive body shop (MAACO) at 1644-1666 South Second Street.  The property is 1.4 acres and contains a 22,756 square foot building.  At present the building is utilized as a warehouse and MAACO anticipates a formal opening by year's end. The property owner has also submitted an application to utilize 7,300 sq. ft. of the structure for an automotive repair shop (Progressive), and the board will hear this application in January 2015.  

Public Safety and Affairs Update
Point of Distribution Drill 2nd Phase
On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, our Police, Fire, OEM and Health Divisions completed the 2nd phase of the Point of Distribution Drill (POD) at Plainfield High School.  The drill tested City resources in the event of an emergency where supplies or medicine would have to be distributed to our residents. The drill was very successful and assisted our emergency responders in what areas they can improve on.

 

Federal Grant

On Monday, December 1, 2014, my administration authorized the Department of Public Safety to move forward with applying for a Federal Grant for $70,000 to replace the Plainfield Fire Divisions aging air supply system for replenishing Firefighter air packs. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant in previous years awarded our Fire Division over $900,000 in equipment and apparatus.


Military Surplus Equipment
Recently attention has been called to the fact that Plainfield received over $2.4 million of military surplus equipment. It is no secret that I have made public safety a top priority of my Administration. To that end we are assembling resources necessary to ensure the safety of all of our residents as well as to improve our effectiveness and rapid response capabilities during severe weather events. Please click on the link below for a full explanation and accounting for the assets we have acquired from the military. I wish to thank Director Riley and the rest of the team for all they do every day to keep us safe.  Click on the link below for further details:

Link to Additional Resource �
Health Officer Update

On December 3, 2014, my administration offered the first of a city-wide series of free blood pressure screenings at the Senior Center monthly meeting.  I emphasized the importance of quality of life and discussed the importance of stocking emergency supplies necessary to prepare and stay safe and warm should an emergency occur this winter.  Denise Proctor, Health Officer from the Plainfield Division of Health, then spoke about the importance of regular blood pressure screenings and introduced Public Health Nurse Sarah Muller-Robbins to address the dangers of uncontrolled high blood pressure and ways to maintain a healthy level.  A blood pressure assessment was offered to those present and 30% of the seniors in attendance participated in the screening.

Until Next Time
Stay warm, safe, and well. I'll see you tonight, December 5th at 6PM for the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at City Hall.

 


 

One Plainfield - One Future!

 

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