Click below to watch the interview with Plainfield City Council President Annie McWilliams as she sets the record straight on Plainfield's Division of Recreation!
Over the weekend, I received a few emails from concerned residents who have been hearing rumors about Plainfield's summer camp programs for young people not being available. In addition, some residents thought that the city council took a vote to close the Recreation Division. I am just writing to reassure those residents who have been misinformed.
The recreation programs are fully funded, and the Recreation Division remains open. A few individuals in our city seem to enjoy spreading misinformation and outright lies to alarm the public. Self-interested demagogues continue to do so--this harms our entire community.
The city council took no such vote to close the Division of Recreation--in fact, it is just the reverse. The council voted to INCREASE funding for ALL the programs. Further, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs has a fiduciary as well as an ETHICAL responsibility to ensure that her administration follows the law and runs the recreation division, along with ALL the programs funded in the budget by the council. Anything less is completely unacceptable.
Council President McWilliams has called a press conference for Monday, March 21 at 6:00 pm at City Hall Library to correct the lies and reassure the residents that all programs will continue uninterrupted.
I am committed to funding all recreation programs--indeed, the council has increased the funding for this division. Please note that I was not on the council when the funding increase occurred, although I am in full support.
I am an educator--I teach full-time at Essex County College, and among my students are at-risk youth, whom I have mentored for years, so I am in full agreement that, in addition to our students receiving a quality education, they must also have some part in recreational activities.
I am glad that parents are getting involved in the recreational aspects of their childrens' lives. As an educator, I am hopeful that, as we correct the lies that are being spread through the rumor mill, more parents see recreation as just one component (along with educational excellence and mentoring) in the development of successful young people.
We must all move forward together, but there must be true collaboration from the administration to do what is in the best interest of Plainfield's children. Scare tactics and divisiveness do nothing but harm the children in this city--I, for one, am disgusted by the outrageous attempt to willfully misinform residents.