Monday, June 19, 2006

GOP Reorg, SID Expansion,Working Conference

I am still without a land line. More on that later. I will be filing much later than usual due to the logistics. Meanwhile, here are some brief items.

GOP Reorganizes

The Plainfield Republican Municipal Committee has chosen Sandy Spector as its leader for another two years.

The committee reorganized on June 12 with members elected in the June 6 primary.

Other officers for two-year terms are: 1st vice-chair, Bo Vastine; 2nd vice-chair, Keith Biddulph; secretary, Sean Alfred; and treasurer, Angela Perun.

The GOP candidates for City Council this year are Arlington Johnson in the 1st Ward and Perun running for the 2nd & 3rd Ward at-large seat. They will face two incumbent Democrats, 1st Ward Councilman Rayland Van Blake and 2nd & 3rd Ward At-large Councilman Rashid Burney, in the November 7 general election.

SID Expansion

Fifty new properties will be added to the Special Improvement District in a proposed expansion.

More than 400 commercial and industrial properties in the central business district and the South Avenue business district are currently assessed an extra tax that pays for improvements within the SID to make it cleaner, safer and more attractive. The expansion adds eligible properties from West Front Street north to the Green Brook, and some south of Seventh Street.

Last month, the City Council gave initial approval to an expansion that included 84 properties. But some residential apartment buildings were listed in error.

The council will discuss the proposal Monday and will hold a public hearing Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave. The complete list is available at the City Clerk‘s office or in the Office of Economic Development at City Hall, 515 Watchung Ave.

Working Conference

The City Council’s second Working Conference Session will be held Tuesday (June 20) at 7 p.m. in City Hall Library.

The topic will be the Plainfield Organization for West End Revitalization (POWER), a community-based non-profit group that is working in conjunction with Homefirst, Inc. (formerly Interfaith Council for the Homeless of Union County) and Rutgers University’s National Center for Neighborhoods and Brownfield Redevelopment. The organization’s aim is to bring more affordable housing, retail development, job creation and greater safety to the West End.

The council added conference sessions to its new calendar that began in April. The meetings are meant to help the council develop policy.

The first one, on April 10, was on the topic of crime and drew a large crowd to Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center’s Centennial Hall. Speakers included Police Chief Edward Santiago, Public Safety Director Martin Hellwig and Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow. Public comment was supposed to be limited to 15 minutes, but went on for about two hours.

The last Working Conference Session for 2006 is scheduled for Nov. 13.

--Bernice Paglia


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