Monday, May 23, 2011

Whose Truce?

Plainfield's Saturday was a rapturous day of warmth and sunshine having been preceded by almost a week of clouds and rain and followed Sunday and perhaps the early part of this week with the same depressing weather. Elsewhere in the world there was another erupting volcano in Iceland and some of the most severe tornadoes ever in our mid-west states.

Locally there has been reflection and reassessment of the meaning of the "Gang Truce". The positives is that for a few months there should not be shootings in the 4th Ward. The negative is that our local authorities had nothing to do with this armistice. In fact they apparently became aware only after the newspapers had reported on the pancake celebration.

The Star Ledger's editorial columnists pointed out that the Mayor's "hugs and kisses" does not solve the problem. The gangs and drugs are still out on the streets. There is still an authority failure including the leadership in the police department, if rumors are true, that will prevent a permanent solution.

Renata Hernandez in her blog announced a May 28, 1pm meeting at PHS:" Next week a host of Plainfield residence (sic),both past and present, will come together to continue these PEACE efforts. I hope you will be there to lend your support, find out how you can help, and share ideas on how to develop recreational programming for our youth. The ultimate goal of this event is to help support the establishment of a Recreation Center for Plainfield Youth!"

I welcome any attempt to correct the problems facing Plainfield. The intentions of this "host" of unspecified individuals should not be disparaged. However, any major action should not be initiated or conducted by individuals outside of the City's Government. If the intent is to form a non-profit recreational facility that is fine. If it is to create a solution for the core social/economical problems that are the root of the gang problems, that should not be the province of an ad hoc public group.

The proper venue for action to solve the City's problems must be as part of the City's government. Administration should be the leader with the Council's support. Any solution will need dollar support and that has to come from taxes with hopefully grant support. That is why no self organized group can be the driving force.

If the Mayor is ever to show leadership she should appoint a sufficient diversified large, name it what you wish ,task force to devise a broad workable solution. I am sure that no community person without overwhelming personal issues irregardless of race, religion, economic status, age, or political affiliation would turn down a request to serve on such a body.

slight editorial change 10:20am


  1. Do you think that maybe Jerry paid some of the Gang leaders to call the truce long enough so that his candidate for the 4th and 1st Ward City Council seat can claim credit for it and use it to help her in her attempt to get elected? Even if she can't claim credit for the truce, she must see this as a positive for her campaign. It's hard to get elected when bullets are flying in your neighborhood and the Mayor and Assemblyman that are supporting you are doing nothing to stop the violence. The timing of this truce are indeed curious. I have been trying to figure this out all weekend. I wonder what Jerry offered them?

  2. To 1:05pm. It certainly wouldn't be above Jerry to do that. Let's hope that the people of the 1st and 4th ward are not stupid.

    They have no representation with their 1 ward and 4th ward councilpeople, and even less with their 1 and 4th ward councilmember. Let's hope they can see that their voices will be heard if they elect someone new to the 1/4.

  3. While people we elect,appoint and employ have defined roles to play in solving our problems and making life better. Why does this sound like private citizens are being told to stop trying to help?


  4. Deborah, I am not advocating that private citizens should not have a role in solving the city's problems. I believe that this effort must be done under the city's government auspices as it will take tax dollars. I am also not sure that the particpants in this particular forum are representative of the public as a whol;e or are even residents in the city. The sponsoring organizations may have agendas of their own.

  5. after reading today's police blotter, it struck me what was wrong with the whole truce thing . . . no Hispanic gang members in on it. Acording to Plainfield's finest, the latino's are still shootin it up somewhat!