FOSH Sale Does Not Need City Help
The garage sale is a premier event of Friends of Sleepy Hollow, a neighborhood group in the city’s southeast section. The group charges participants a $25 fee that not only includes a city permit but also extensive advertising to draw residents of the metropolitan area to the Queen City for treasure hunting. The group provides maps and balloons marking participating households.
Part of the sale’s mystique is that it showcases Plainfield as a city renowned for its Victorian housing stock. Buyers get to see the non-gritty side of the city as they browse antiques, collectibles and other items that residents want to pass along.
This year, officials took it upon themselves to propose a citywide waiver of the permit fee in a somewhat misguided effort to hang on FOSH coattails to attract bargain hunters.
FOSH organizers pointed out that unless the city was going to replicate the advertising and promotion efforts of the neighborhood group, giving everyone a free permit on May 18 was only courting disaster.
Luckily for FOSH, the matter did not come up at the April 7 council meeting for a vote and hopefully is moot at this point.
Councilman Cory Storch pointed out that all FOSH wanted from the city was an expeditious handling of the 80 or so permit requests to the City Clerk’s office. A blanket approval for the permits would avoid delay and stress on staff to process each permit individually.
The sale is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 18, rain or shine, and potential sellers must register and pay by April 18. Contact phone numbers are Kathleen at (908) 668-1595 or Susan at (908) 561-5619.
This event has always been very well-organized and has resulted in positive publicity for Plainfield. To broaden it citywide with no fees may be well-intentioned, but it overlooks the organizational aspects that make the sale viable and productive.