From Plainfield City Hall
  Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
One Plainfield.  One Future.
 
There has been a lot of energy at City Hall this week! My administration has been working hard for every single resident of Plainfield. 

Important to me is the health and wellness of all our residents.  The  ACA (Affordable Care Act) open enrollment deadline is approaching - February 15, 2015.  If you, or anyone you know, do not have health insurance, I urge you to contact our Plainfield ACA Navigator at (973) 908-500-6031.

Please make sure to read the press release from the White House - located in the ACA (Affordable Care Act) section of this communication.

Below are updates from my administration as well as other useful information.  



Creating One Plainfield - One Future,

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield
The White House Office of Public Engagement Discusses the ACA (Affordable Care Act) in Plainfield City Hall

The current open enrollment period for the ACA (Affordable Care Act) closes on February 15, 2015.  A representative of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Elisabeth Evans, Associate Director of Public Engagement, along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, held an Affordable Care Act press conference and stakeholders' meeting in the City Hall Library on January 22, 2015.  In attendance were Pastors Medley, Ball, and Bishop Colley, Plainfield ACA Navigators, and nonprofit organization representatives. During this meeting, we discussed the strong efforts my administration have made in providing resources for residents to register with a certified ACA navigator as we approach the open enrollment deadline of February 15, 2015.  The discussion also included:
  • Possible national designation as a "Model ACA City." 
  • Emphasis on the remaining 24 days before open enrollment closes. 
  • The importance of connecting with the community to reach individuals who have not registered.
  • Assisting our ACA Navigator in networking with houses of worship and nonprofit organizations.
  • Organizing ACA registration events.
  • Training individuals to be ACA Navigators.
  • Using different vehicles of communications, such as: web, video, social media, and robo calls. 

Stay tuned for more information regarding ACA registration and educational events.
 
Reminder: The President's Executive Order on Immigration - Seminar
This message serves as a reminder that my 
 administration will keep residents connected to federal issues that impact our Plainfield families.  On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced an executive order on immigration.  This executive order may have a profound impact on some of the more than 40% Latino population here in the City of Plainfield.

With this in mind, I am proud to announce my administration will be holding a free seminar on The President's Executive Order on Immigration. 

Topics to be covered include the following: 
  • Who is eligible for a work permit
    • Parents of U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents,  Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) 
    • Changes to DREAMERS -Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Avoiding illegal and unscrupulous people and organizations
  • Preparing a timely application

When: January 28, 2015

Time: 7PM

Where: City Hall Library - 515 Watchung Ave., Plainfield, NJ 07060 

 
Department of Public Works & Urban Development Update
Recreation 
 I am pleased to announce that the Plainfield Division of Parks and Recreation is a finalist in the 'Building Better Communities Grant' sponsored by the National Parks Association and The American Water Company. The selection as a finalist was based on the presentation of innovative solutions to meet the grant's requirements of including water, natural play features, science and technology into the design of the park, which will be located behind the Drake House on Geraud Avenue, in the Drake House Economic Redevelopment Area.  Winners of the competition will be awarded up to $150,000.  

Planning Division
The Planning board consists of volunteer board members. I appreciate their dedication and the hours spent as they proceed to support the City's Master Plan, while working with Planning Board applicants.  The Planning Board recently accomplished the following 
  • On January 15, the Planning Board held their reorganization meeting and re-elected Ron Scott-Bey as Chairman, and William Toth as Vice Chairman.  They also adopted their annual calendar.
  • The Planning  board granted site plan approval to permit the conversion of a one-story, 3,126 square foot commercial building previously used for a child care center to a house of worship for 51 occupants.

Administration and Finance Update
Senior Citizens - Helping You Ease Your Tax Burden
Our senior citizens are a wonderful and engaged part of our community.  I appreciate their energy and the perspective they bring to community events and to our city.  Tax season is right around the corner.  To help ease your tax burden, I would like to remind you to renew your Senior Citizen Property Tax Deduction - Senior Citizen PD5 Form.  To qualify:
  • Annual income No greater than 10k - excluding social security or disability.
  • Age 65 years or older or disabled

 Renewal is is due March 1, 2015 and will be sending notices in the mail to current applicants by January 30, 2015.

 

If you have NOT applied or have questions - Contact the Plainfield Tax Office at (908) 753-3217 or email taxcollector@plainfieldnj.gov 

Public Affairs and Safety Update
Plainfield Rescue Squad 
Your safety and well being is important to me and is a top priority of my administration. The Plainfield Rescue Squad has faced many challenges during their efforts to acquire up-to-date equipment and resources.  On January 20, 2015, the Plainfield PBA Local 19 generously donated two defibrillators to the Squad.  The defibrillators were presented to them by PBA President Andre Crawford.   
Economic Development Update
Community Development
picket-fence-home-sm.jpg
Comprehensive Home Assistance Program (CHAP):  In an effort to help improve quality of life issues, such as housing, applications are currently being accepted for deferred interest free loans.  For more information, contact the Office of Community Development at (908) 753-3610.

Safe Housing and Transportation Program (SHTP) - Grants available to qualifying senior citizens, aged 60 years or older, and will help in the following areas:
  • Plumbing and electrical
  • Grab bar installation
  • Structural or sidewalk repairs
Six satisfied City residents received assistance in December at their homes providing them with home repairs through our Safe Housing and Transportation Program. The repairs ranged from Ceiling repair, roof repair, broken doors  to winterizing doors and windows.

First Time Homebuyers Seminar - Reminder
I am pleased to announce that the Office of Community Development will be holding a First Time Homebuyers Seminar.  This seminar is scheduled for Saturday, February 28, 2015 (snow date 3/28/15) at the City Hall Library from 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. 
Please call Elaine S. Dunn-Brown @ 908-753-3610 to register.
Arts and Culture
Plainfield Public Library - Photography Exhibit Opening
The Brian Price Photography Exhibit opens this Saturday - the subject matter will feature gospel singers and groups.
  
Date: January 24, 2015 
Location: Plainfield Public Library 
800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060 
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM in the Anne Louise Davis Gallery

Plainfield Symphony Society 
One of the cultural gems here in the City of Plainfield is the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra which is the oldest symphony in the state of New Jersey.   Some fulfilled events have been scheduled to warm up our winter months.  We invite you to join the Plainfield Symphony Society for the After Dinner Dance later this month. 
Resources
Preparing for winter travel
Unlike last winter, we have been fortunate enough not to have much snow. But winter is not over yet.  Preparation is key to traveling safe during this time of year.  FEMA has a very informative video on traveling in winter weather.  You can view this informative video below.  

Prepare Now For Winter Travel
Prepare Now For Winter Travel


Planning Ahead

  As many of you may know, I have an extensive background in finance and      accounting, and I believe in planning.   With the tax filing deadline approaching  us, it can be helpful to consider the following information when working on your  personal finances.  The following helpful information is from  the www.usa.gov website, and has many useful resources.

Secure Your Financial Future

Make a new year's resolution to reach long term financial stability. Secure your quality of life for your retirement.

Social Security only covers part of your retirement, which is why the Department of Labor (DOL) recommends developing a savings plan. The resources below will help you plan for retirement.

Develop your savings plan

  • Calculate your monthly expenses, such as housing payments, utilities, food, etc.

  • Allocate part of your income toward a savings account; it doesn't matter if the amount you put away varies every month.

  • Eliminate unnecessary expenses that might affect your budget.

  • Avoid debt. Try not to use your credit card, that way you won't have to make monthly payments with interest.

Worksheets to start a savings plan

The DOL provides a series of worksheets to help you manage your finances for retirement. You will need to create an account to access your worksheets and any saved information. The worksheets are organized as follows:

  1. Goals and Priorities. Write your short and long-term financial goals, such as travel expenses or saving for retirement, and set priorities to achieve them.

  2. Financial Documents Checklist. Gather copies of documents you'll need to create a retirement budget, including bank statements, student loan information and tax returns.

  3. Balance Sheet to Calculate Net Worth. Calculate your assets, like property and investments, as well as your liabilities, which include mortgage and loan payments.

  4. Retirement Saving. Figure out how much money you'll need to save each year to reach your retirement goal.

  5. Cash Flow Spending Plan. You'll come up with a monthly and yearly budget, and then return to the worksheet at the end of the year to see the results.

  6. Debt Reduction. Prioritize your debt and figure out how much you plan to play.

Read this note in Spanish.



Until Next Time
Stay warm and have a great weekend!