Friday, October 2, 2009

POTPOURRI OCT 2

This one started out as a filler but has grown like topsy.

PLAINFIELD

The Mayor's letter in the recent publication 'Fall Leaf Collection" pamphlet notes that "road improvements totaling $8,000,000.00 continues to move forward with several streets completed, and several in the construction phase."

Although this seems to be positive progress, I would hope that in a report to the Council Monday the specific streets would be identified, when work was started and when completed. What part represents the 2005 six year plan, and what parts of the first four years have been discarded.

How much budget funds were anticipated from the state and actual receipts over that period of time and what percentage went to engineering services. Better yet actual dollars spent and if any were duplications of earlier services. What percent of the budget road improvement funds ahve been expended each of the past 4 years and how?

In early 2007, more than 2 years ago, one of our Councilors wrote ;There is now good news on the horizon. Plainfield is now the proud owner of new road repair and maintenance equipment. Our road crews starting doing repairs with it this week.

If you want to check it out drive over to Oak Lane off Watchung Avenue - the lower portion. It was on my list as the worst road in the 2nd Ward and probably the whole city (with Central Street close behind). The new equipment does large patches with milling and paving machines. It is not the same as total road reconstruction but it will last a good amount of time, it is much cheaper and it will make life more livable for residents until we can work our way through the road reconstruction list.

Our new equipment will save us millions of dollars in the long run. We have not maintained our roads for decades. As they get worse, a less costly milling and paving will not suffice. A total reconstruction will be necessary. This costs twice as much. It is shameful that we have allowed some roads to reach this point.

Instead of allowing our roads to continue their deterioration, the new maintenance program will prevent the need for total reconstruction. Just go to a shopping mall parking lot and look at the asphalt cracks. They are regularly sealed. This will become part of our program too.

The first time I saw this equipment in use was this year on South Ave. Our 8 million would have gone a long ways if instead of spending large sums on engineering and contractors that failed to perform we had used this equipment. I have still not seen tar trucks sealing cracks and winter 2009-10 is upon us. A while back I did a blog on asphalt roads, I wonder if anybody in the City Administration paid attention.

On April 27, 2008 I wrote a blog on Plainfield's roads with the hope that the city would respond positively. In January 2009 in a blog (http://dpotpourri.blogspot.com/2009/01/state-of-city.html) I specifically complained about our lack of road maintenance and referred to an article on asphalt pavements. In late September in response to my query at the Council if Kensington Ave was being started too late in the year ,City Administrator reassured us that it would be finished before it got too cold. He didn't say what year, but what was being done was in complete disregard of all recommendations on the time of the year to repave roads.

With this history How has the $8 M been spent?

HEALTH CARE
The anti-abortionists have temporarily been defeated i their attempt to include a blanket rule against abortion in the pending bills. Although abortion will be funded under specific conditions such as the result of rape, incest, or when the mothers life is in danger, there is no funding for voluntary reasons. One should consider social-economic conditions in which the size of a family could deprive the children of the right of upbringing not compromised financial shortfalls that deprive them of the possibility of being superior citizens.

The Baucus bill is supposed to come out of Committee Friday (today). How and what the Senate does with it will go a long way in determining what is passed. We will not get "Socialization" this year , but let us hope it is beneficial and not destructive.

REMEMBER THE MONARCH
March 17, 2008 one of our Councilors posted in his blog:
  • Market-rate condos. All condo development must be market-rate and market-driven.
  • No rental units - about 50% of Plainfield is already rental. This is far greater then any other neighboring community, and creates an imbalance in our community. We already have more than our fair share of rental housing.
  • No government subsidy - these units must stand on their own - tax payers cannot bear the burden of a private development.(The boldface is mine.)
In view of the continued pressure to give Tax Abatements to the Monarch Property, and the recent granting an extended new PILOT program to the new owners of the Cedarbrook Senior Apartments I thought this "reminder" would be of value.

LASTLY;
If there is any doubt about my opinion regarding the 2009 Council and why I know it would work well with whom ever is Mayor, understand that I consider it one of the best to serve the city in the last 20 years. It was not a rubber stamp like some have been and except where it showed some Latex on the IT Ordinance Plainfield has benefited by it. In 2009 it was hamstrung by the Budget fiasco and delay. I hope that 2010 will have one in place.

5 comments:

  1. I cannot believe we are still talking about the abatement. The city is bound and determined to get it through, but has no regard for their employers (us) who want accountability.

    The council President has done a great job of not wasting the council's time by keeping the abatement issue away until something of substance is available to look at.

    The administration is looking to wear the council and citizen's out. I think what they are missing is that "we are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore".

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  2. Doc, regarding your assessments of the city council from yesterday, I agree for the most part. ABout Mr. Mapp's educational upbringing, I couldn't help but laugh. Yes he seems to be a product of the English colonial education system when I hear him talk, and he seems stern at the council meetings, but on a non city council level I have found him to be quite warm and friendly when I have met him at some other local functions. I don't really mind if he seems abrupt or abrasive at the council because he speaks for a lot of my righteous indignation as a taxpayer and resident. We don't have to like our elected officials, as long as they are tough and effective. I'm in a union, and I don't "like" my union rep, but he's tough when he needs to be in protecting our members.

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  3. With all due respect, I beg to differ w your comment about the worst road in the 2nd ward. The worse street is Pine Street. Drive it for yourself, especially after the rain has washed away the gravel.

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  5. Agness,The quote was by one of your Council members.After over a decade of attending Council meetings and listening to citizen's complaints about Pine Street I am convinced that except in the Tax Collector's files it is a phantom street. It will never be paved or even upgraded unless a politician lives on that road.
    Perhaps youl all should get together and "pine tar " that street or the responsible administrator.

    I deleted my earlier response since it had too too many typos.

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