Commentary on Thursday
I missed a few minutes of Thursday's forum because I got a call from my neighbor about a situation at our building. It seems not only did the rusted-out Verizon pole crash down on a truck in Lot 7, somehow the incident led to our utility pole next door tilting at a precarious angle. Because it holds up all the phone and cable wires for our six-family building, I was upset to discover the situation on my way to the library.
Even though my cell phone rang at the library, I missed the call and couldn't get a response when I called back.
Later, my neighbor and I took a big lantern flashlight outside so I could show her the problem. I had called Verizon upon getting home and although the representative said a leaning pole was not considered a problem, it sure looked like one to us.
A repair person may be sent Friday to look it. Meanwhile, if it crashes, the blog might go dark.
Anyway, while I was outside the library meeting room, I heard James Pivnichny being asked how long ago he joined the senior center, but didn't hear the answer. Whatever it was, if he joined, he is a member and deserves to be respected as such.At the forum, the mayor alluded to Pivnichny's query that began the incident that led to his ejection from the center. Saying he had asked whether the burglary rate was 74 percent, she had learned from Police Director Martin Hellwig that "last year to this year, it is down 8 percent."
While that statistic may be true, the other figure came up in the recently-released Uniform Crime Report that compares numbers of various crimes in 2008 with those of 2007. It is online here and if you go to pages 50 and 51, you can see all the statistics for Plainfield. Burglaries were up 70 percent in 2008 (390 burglaries) over 2007 (229 burglaries).
The point is, at some of these forums a lot of stuff is tossed around that can only be verified by going to original documentation, something people in the audience may have neither the time nor the inclination to do. I'm sure people take campaign rhetoric with a grain of salt anyway and rely mainly on their overall impressions of candidates in deciding how to vote.
There will be another public forum on Oct. 28 and maybe others that will be announced. This has been one of the most interesting campaign seasons in Plainfield and citizens seem to be paying close attention.