Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dis-involvement : Dis-investment !

Plainfield Today's Friday's post discussed the corporate "dis-investments" in Plainfield perhaps culminating with the closing of bulk mail capabilities in the Plainfield Post Office and requiring bulk mailers to use either Rahway or Newark post offices. In effect under a Democratic Administration a quasi official Federal Government agency has reduced Plainfield to a second rate community.

This is in addition to the closing of Muhlenberg sanctioned by a Democratic State Administration.

A statement of fact; I am not a biased reactionary Republican, Although I recently transfered party allegiance it was because (1) my liberal centralist concepts gould not tolerate voting for the bigotry of the far right Republicans who have seized the GOP. (2)I hope to find a home within the moderate wing of the Democrat party and also know that in New Jersey the primary election decides our political fate. (3) I have always voted a split ticked when the candidates merited my vote. Thus party affiliation was only important at primary time.

Yet at the risk of sounding like a biased Republican , unfortunately this and all the other "dis-investments" referred in the Plainfield Today post have occurred post "riot" and after the city political power became Democratic. At best this is only coincidental, but is worth examining in detail.

One can not deny that the riots of the late 60s had a permanent and deleterious effect upon the city. The ensuing demographic changes were directly relate to backlash from the riots. Ethnic population changes, the exodus of an affluent white Republican population led to the past 30 years of Democratic political power in Plainfield.

Unfortunately the new leadership was too self centered and failed to look to the community's future. If we impassionately look back we will find the truth in the adage "Power Corrupts" A live and let live attitude by the political leadership allowed Trenton and the county to ignore the city. The city's infrastructure was allowed to deteriorate and along with a perceived rise in crime rate, the once outstanding commercial center lost all attraction for non residents.

Associated with the above, the school system which was once one of the most desirable in the nation completely lost focus and became one of the State's worst.

Westfield's business district changed from that of a dowdy small town to a vibrant community of shops which were associated with upscale malls. The traffic attracted upscale restaurants. That Community had reinvented itself while Plainfield died. Redevelopment had become a joke. Instead of attracting a new core of stores, many questionable "developers" were given the rights to build or convert buildings into apartments. Only one of many proposed projects was started and ultimately completed. The other developers defaulted or were granted extensions.

We should not blame "Corporate dis-involvement" as the source of the city's problems. Instead it is the result of its citizenry's lack of involvement and permitting a government and school system that thrived on nepotism and patronage.

Fortunately, recently has there been an increasing number of activists who by attending meetings and through blogging have begun to force changes including accountability, in the school and civic milieu. Should the people listen and understand that they are responsible for a government for the all the people by the people", They will participate in the electoral process to assure the quality of elected candidates.

There may still be hope that by the end of this new decade, Plainfield will once more be Central New Jersey's Queen.

1 comment:

  1. Old Doc -- for as long as live and live in Plainfield - my goal is to Re-Throne the Queen City to its rightful place. I am accountable to this community!