Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wintry Disarray

This demolished city bench on Park Avenue echoed other elements of disarray that marked the day Tuesday.

Items in the news included the court appearance of the school district's assistant superintendent and her possible dismissal, the sentencing of local icon Jayson Williams and another phase of the Muhlenberg saga.

While personnel issues in the school district are grabbing headlines, there is still no contract with the employees' union and the district is facing not just the state-mandated increases in the local school tax levy, but also budget constraints and possible tax burdens at an unprecedented level. Schools Superintendent Steve Gallon III directs our attention to the expected March 16 announcement of Gov. Chris Christie's FY 2011 budget for details.

Jayson Williams promised years ago to develop North Avenue and later to build a senior center here. Neither promise was kept and meanwhile his personal life unraveled while awaiting justice in the shooting that took place at his mansion. Nonetheless, some local officials vaunt him as a hero and friend to the city. Why? It is hard to understand.

Every mention of Muhlenberg revives in some of us the jitters and downright fear of what may happen if we fall ill. Where will we be taken? Even if the decision to close Muhlenberg as an acute care facility is overturned, how long will it be before it reopens? Meanwhile, the absurdity of health care costs is played out in examples such as a recent set of bills from the satellite emergency department for an incident involving removal of a piece of cotton stuck in a person's ear. The gross cost was $596 from the hospital and $481 from the physician. The net cost was $34.50 and $20.21 respectively. Which is more bizarre?

City Hall was not in the news Tuesday, but it was on a lot of residents' minds. How are things going over there in the wake of layoffs and with a still-evolving cabinet? Do we have a finance director or chief finance officer yet?

Which kind of brings us back to that bench. Never mind that streets and sidewalks are littered with twigs and branches from the recent heavy snowstorm, can this mega-litter of wood and metal be cleaned up anytime soon?

When times are gray and grim, it is up to individuals to do what they can to make things better. Even sweeping a sidewalk or volunteering to read to a school child is a start. On Monday, it will be time to file for the school board. Early indications are that a lot of people will file for the three three-year terms and one unexpired term. Voters will have about seven weeks to discern which candidates will have the qualities to serve in the tough times ahead. The governing body will also resume its schedule Monday and the public will get a glimpse of how things are going in that sphere.

Spring is just weeks away and if nothing else, residents will be able to tidy up their yards and share the season's beauty Let us hope some of the city and school district disarray will also be cleared up soon as well.



Blogger Rob said... my opinion..the bench says it all about Plainfield. BROKEN.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure you're talking about the right Jayson/Jay (nee Jason) Williams?
The former (Jayson) is the recently convicted manslaughterer from Queens, NY, with only a peripheral connection to Plainfield. The later (Jay) is actually from Plainfield, went to St Joe's Metcuhen and Duke, now works on ESPN as a basketball talking head. Knowing that the administration is severely detail challenged, I would be dubious that they are touting the right one, or that they even know that there are two.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was bread and circuses at City Hall yesterday: employees could wear red, get free health screenings and noshes while they sorted out who works where. One said he didn't go, fearful his blood pressure would be so high he'd be sent home.

9:03 AM  
Blogger active citizen said...

Just a note. It seems everyone forgot Connolly Properties. Mr. Connolly is allowing water damage from an improperly drained roof to destroy apartments. My apartment at 606 Crescent Avenue, 5G has a ceiling collapse in the kitchen, water in the hallway on the 5th and 3rd floor, and large puddles on the roof coming through. Please, let's get him in the spotlight again. My email is

Bob Bolmer

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wheres it at need extra cash so i'll take it to the scrap yard

7:46 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Bob: Active Citizen - I totally feel for you. I had said this from the beginning when Mayor Jerry and Assistant Mayor "HOT MESS" Briggs got involved. As long as the cameras were flashing and reporters abound they were there with their hearts pouring out with sympathy for the cause. She and Mayor Jerry used all of you for photo opps and that's it. Write some letters to the Courier News again and take some her and Mayor Jerry out on their faux sympathy game.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont know what happened to the park benches, but could it be that no one reported it to public works yet? Just a thought since they are usually pretty quick to respond. As for Jayson... he is a washed up has been. He and his father at one point were going to redevelop teh North Ave train station area. Never happened, go figure. Jayson is definately not his father, a man of good character. The apple fell very far from that tree. He is a murderer who got away with it. If he were your average brotha off the streets of Plainfield for example, he would have been locked up for at least 20 years 5 years ago. Ridiculous! The tenants of Connolly, if the situations are so bad, hire an attorney and put your rent in escrow until the repairs are made. Simple. If not, move out or move on. You are probably paying $500 a month for an apt that should rent for $1500. While I am not a supporter of Connolly, I do know that if you dont collect enough to pay for the repairs, they cant be fixed. Learn your rights, thats why you have a Truth in Renting book from the state. Read it, learn it and stop enabling Connolly and being a victim. Call the Board of Health and follow up with them. Keep records or calls. Its very easy to do. Thye work for you after all.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when the city workers were clearing da snow they hits the bench with the big tractor. No money in da budget to fixit

3:02 PM  

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