Wednesday, December 31, 2008

PLAINFIELD'S DARK YEAR

2008 was the year Plainfield became an undesirable city to live in.

Plainfield's streets are in serious disrepair and are continuing to disintegrate due to poor counter measures. Leland Ave, especially north of the railroad bridge, has become a tire busting, alignment destroying, axle bending obstacle course. Watchung Ave is still a ride to challenge suspensions and springs. Woodland Ave and South Ave repaved within the past ten years are full of potholes and poorly repaired street openings.

Plainfield High School was designated as the states only "persistantly unsafe school"." It also was cited for continue failure to make adequate progress .

The mortgage foreclosure rate in Plainfield is one of the highest in the state leaving the First and Fourth wards with an overwhelming number of vacant houses. The other two wards have not escaped.

But primarily it has been Plainfield's Health Crisis , compounded by political ineptitude, which has had the greatest impact upon the city..

The closing of Muhlenberg Medical Center was symbolic of the low esteem that the state's political leaders hold for this city. The circus that marked the hearings that were held before the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services officially approved the fait accompli action by Solares reflected the lack of consideration that this Democratic State Administration has for the health of 100000 lower social status people.

Despite Jerry Greens own words in his Dec 29, 2008 blog; "This would put us in the position to reopen Muhlenberg Hospital, a hospital that should have never been closed.", it still appears that our political leadership failed us. Assemblywoman Stender ignored the problem, and Assemblyman Green efforts seemed to be directed at best to modifying what he knew would be the ultimate reaction. Neither one or State Senator Lesniak of Union County actively opposed the State's intent to sacrifice Muhlenberg for the benefit of Solaris.

Actions to produce supposed "buyers" of the Muhlenberg Campus were a cynical insincere introduction of supposed proposals by real estate entrepreneurs, not hospital operators. The few health system operators that showed any interest were give short strife. The whole story has never been made public, everything was behind closed doors. Any disclosures at this late date must be received with a degree of skepticism.

The city Council was outstanding in its lack of positive action. Proactive is not a known word. When legal action was begun the horses had already fled the stable, Again the scope would not alter the health care void that the loss of the hospital has created.

Although we have been assured by the Mayor that there is a viable acceptable interested party
whose identity must be kept a secret in negotiations with Solaris, I doubt that there will ever be even belatedly positive action. For one thing Solaris does not want even minimal competition, and the downturn in the economy has made an investment unlikely.

Where does it leave the Plainfield area residents in need of urgent critical care. They can ultimately be treated at Kennedy, or Somerset or Overlook . or at the newly renamed Trinty Regional Health Center. Regional because Plainfield's OB cases are being sent there. The twenty or more minutes that it will take to receive critical care means nothing to the unaffected ones who engineered this situation.

1 comment:

  1. Amen. I hope people will remember your blog during this year and become more involved in the city, and more importantly, they remember your blog when they vote in November.

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