Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pass the Ylang-Ylang Oil

Something tells me things at City Hall may get worse before they get better.

As much as I am dedicated to providing information on city government, redevelopment and other topics to my readers, newsgathering can be depressing. As a resident of the city, my reporter's excitement at a breaking story is often accompanied by a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach because it is bad news for my hometown. I'm sure officeholders in Plainfield get that feeling too sometimes, when they must necessarily identify a problem in order to address it. Life would be much easier if we could all pretend everything is wonderful all the time.

That said, there are little things that can help.

One thing I carried away from the 1970s was an interest in the use of essential oils to set or change a mood. Among the many kinds of oils and their uses, I found out that ylang-ylang oil was especially good for calming anxiety or depression. Rose oil is also good. Given the recent turbulence at City Hall, a trip to Success Express in Westfield or Autumn Harvest in Scotch Plains may be in order to stock up on heavenly scents to counteract the whiff of brimstone in the air. There are probably some places here as well that have essential oils.

Budget season seems to be off to a rocky start. Perhaps Monday's meeting will lead to helpful action. Councilman Cory Storch has promised a series of blog posts on the budget and fortunately there are more citizen bloggers keeping an eye on things. The Economic Growth portion of Monday's meeting should be revealing, as nearly all the development proposals of recent years have dissolved or are in abeyance. Storch's call for a visioning process, though resisted by some, seems reasonable considering the current circumstances. If done properly, the process could generate citizen consensus and support for development in the coming decade.

Monday's meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave. Think good thoughts and carry some ylang-ylang for back-up.

--Bernice Paglia


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