Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stop the Politic Grand Standing. It's Time for Real Solutions.

Congratulations to the Plainfield High School Basketball Team for a very successful year!!!  I was proud to be there to support our youth.  They played well on the court and conducted themselves well off the court.  Sitting in my seat, I looked out and was very pleased for our City to see more than 5,000 people cheering our team in those stands.  Students, parents, Plainfielders all came together to support our children.  I  was filled with pride when State officials from all over New Jersey came to me to congratulate our team and our City.  I have been critical of our Board of Education when necessary but last night I was thankful for the opportunity to witness the accomplishments of our youth.

Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the game, my phone rang a dozen times with folks eager to tell me about the misinformation being presented about the Muhlenberg Project at that very moment.   While 5,000 Plainfielders were working together to support something positive in our community 100 were participating in another kind of event.  The difference in those numbers shows that people know what’s important. I would prefer not to talk about last night’s Third Ward Town Hall Meeting at Cedarbrook School, when on the same night our kids took part in a chance to make history for the City of Plainfield and the State of New Jersey.  But people have decided to focus on other concerns.

Two meetings this week, the Third Ward Town Hall meeting, and the special Council meeting on Monday regarding the PMUA involved political grand standing on problems without bringing us closer to solutions.  I will have no take part in that sort of theatre.  Both meetings were filled with misinformation given to the public which will only make real solutions more difficult to find.

After Monday’s meeting, I’ve reached out to professionals in sewage and waste industies and to various Departments of the State of New Jersey to get information pertaining to our PMUA issues so that the City of Plainfield can make the right decision.  I have reached out to them to give us guidance on the best approach for the City.  It takes a community to correct the obvious problems that PMUA presents us with. Playing politics is not the answer. As an elected official in Plainfield, I owe it to the city to do the best I can to help resolve this issue. I hope to put together a task force of professionals from throughout the state to deal with this issue and work to a true solution.

After participating in the meetings that led to Muhlenberg’s closing, I expected misinformation from Tuesday’s meeting. I forwarded the Solaris proposal to the Mayor and the Council because it is their decision whether this project moves forward or not. I appreciate that Solaris reached out to me, but I made it clear that I do not make these decisions although I am happy to offer all the assistance I can in this matter.  I have never stopped looking for a hospital to take over the Muhlenberg campus, whether or not it is a non-profit one.  I have not shared everything I am working on with the Mayor or Council, because my only goal is to further the interests of the City and not to provide more ammunition for their pointless political battles.

Councilman Adrian Mapp has forwarded a letter to Assemblywoman Stender and me, in reference to the plans for Muhlenberg.  I have reached out to the Department of Health and other individuals more closely involved with UMDNJ about the prospects of UMDNJ taking over the Muhlenberg campus.  I have also spoken to the Assembly Speaker Oliver about this issue. Instead of being a third party to Councilman Mapp’s concerns, I have spoken to the all the stakeholders and have urged Councilman Mapp to do the same. UMDNJ has financial issues of their own, like a lot of other hospitals throughout the State, and is not interested in getting involved in Muhlenberg.

With so many unresolved issues, perhaps last night’s meeting should have been put on hold and the City of Plainfield could have joined the team and parents in making New Jersey proud of Plainfield.  I will not be a part of grand standing when Plainfield is financially hurting. I cannot make any promises, but I will work to at least provide the public with a clear picture of what needs to be done to move forward. I have been asked to make comments but I have refused to get involved in gossip that will only lead to lawsuits. I will assist in finding solutions without getting involved in petty politics on such serious issues.

P.S.- The meeting yesterday started with over 100 people in attendance, but by the end there was less than 20 people there. It is obvious that the public is tired of this grand standing.

No comments: