The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Monday, July 7, 2014

Plainfield Summer Cedar Brook Concerts In the Works

As a member of the council's Recreation Committee (Councilwoman Rivers is the other), I was gratified to see such a nice turnout for the weekend's festivities--the parade as well as the annual fireworks display. Some residents asked me about the concert for this year, and I let them know that the Plainfield Concert in Cedar Brook Park will take place on Saturday, September 13. This change has been discussed and I am glad that we can make everyone aware of the new date. A few individuals expressed disappointment that everything was not held on Saturday, July 5, but I reminded them that the city council failed to approve the contract for the vendor, BKS-1 Productions, a Plainfield-based company, at the May council meeting. 

Although the contract was below the bid threshold, the administration brought it before the council for a vote to ensure transparency (just as with the videography contract). In any case, of the 3 required quotes, the vendor that was selected is a Plainfield-based company (as opposed to who "anonymous" and the mayor wanted)and it was absolutely not an "extremely high bid"--again, it was not a "bid"--it was a quote. For items below the bid threshold, the administration is required to get three quotes (not bids), which they did. The members of the council's Recreation Committee were made aware of those three quotes. The administration  chose the company it thought would be best. 

Here's the rub: The May resolution was PASSED UNANIMOUSLY by the council, but then RESCINDED after a previous vendor and the former mayor came and complained that he (the previous vendor) wasn't chosen. Unbelievably, the council then brought the resolution BACK to the table, and then--unbelievably--voted AGAINST it, having enough votes to have it fail. Thus, May ended without a resolution, which meant that the next time a resolution could potentially come before us for passage was June 16--barely 3 weeks before the July 5th date. 

The concert will now take place on Saturday, September 13, and I look forward to it. I am glad that there will be adequate time for planning as well. Also, you will be happy to know that there is a concert being sponsored by the Union County Freeholders in August--also to be held in Cedar Brook Park. That means we will have TWO wonderful concerts this summer! 

All best,



  1. Thank you for the information and for your continued efforts at transparency!

  2. I actually received an anonymous comment that I will not publish in its entirety, except to say that I am deeply dismayed by the racist tinge to it: "...since Cedarbrook is now the dumping ground for all things ethnic...." "All things ethnic"--really?

    There was also a misstatement of a suggestion I made last year regarding events in Cedar Brook Park--the anonymous commenter used the phrase "South American festival."

    It is clear to me that the writer is unaware that EVERYONE HAS AN ETHNICITY--THAT INCLUDES HIM/HER. It is also clear to me that the writer was expressing a bias against Latino people in particular.


  3. Rebecca, please fight against the addition of more low-income housing. This has nothing to do with ethnicity, it has everything to do with economic diversity. Everyone should be able to have affordable housing, but the scales in this town have tipped too much in one way. This helps no one. I have written at length a number of times about the fact that we tout about our diversity and yet, what do we do with it? I go out of town (Fanwood) to listen to jazz and blues; Montclair to see flamenco while dining; and we have empty buildings that I'm sure could be used to lure artists to cheap studios in connection with the DuCret school of the arts. We really could be a great town, why aren't we? And why is low income housing our only idea? That and "mixed retail."

    1. Regarding the magical proposed ordinance--it is not to be "low-income" housing, but "affordable" housing--which the HAP Director called "luxury" housing--a specific designation. I believe in affordable housing--everyone should be able to live in what they can afford--my specific issue with the project I mentioned is its placement--that parcel should be commercially developed, in my opinion. Further, I was dismayed that the process was not followed.

  4. To the anonymous commenter: I do not "covet" any constituency over another--I represent all Plainfield residents--including children, who cannot vote--are you saying they need no representation? I am sorry if you didn't like the fact that I didn't post your comment. I took particular exception to your "all things ethnic" phrase--I am of an ethnicity, as are you. So, by default, all festivals are "ethnic" festivals. Regarding your other concerns--speeding and traffic--I have been addressing these issues with Third Ward residents. My idea of a festival event in Cedar Brook Park, by the way, would entail ONE DAY--and, of course, would be contingent on public safety being placed as the topmost concern. I am sorry you misunderstood (in my opinion) my point.

  5. One thing that I find interesting--in Dan's blog post today, he writes the following:

    "A developer with plans for a Plainfield project on South Avenue is slated to meet with merchants on July 15 to discuss the proposed project.

    In an announcement emailed to Plainwood Square merchants and Plainfield SID members on Tuesday, PWS president Donna Albanese urged members to attend the meeting with the unnamed developer, adding that Deputry City Administrator Carlos Sanchez would be present and Mayor Mapp is confirmed to attend.

    The proposal involves eight properties located near Plainwood Square Park and if successful would bring a large upscale development to the area. The meeting provides an opportunity for the business community to review the developer's plans and have questions answered about the impact on the proposed development for the South Avenue business community."

    Now, why on earth would it have been a problem for the HAP Director and/or the HAP Commissioners to have had this sort of discussion with Mayor Mapp and Mr. Sanchez prior to presenting the magical ordinance?


  6. Rebecca, I wish you would post my comments and then rebut. You keep trying to make this a one issue conversation.
    Are you afraid others might agree with me? If you do not want me to comment on your blog anymore please say so.
    The third ward has not had adequate representation in years, and now that Gloria Taylor is the voice of the Ward my
    expectations are nil. I do realize you have been rendered totally voiceless and ineffective in this Ward with her election,
    however it is not smart politics to alienate those of us who do vote and question what our representatives do or don't do.
    Although you have disappointed me in your response to my (2) comments, I will continue vote against the "Green" team
    every chance I get. btw--- you did suggest the festivals held downtown be moved to Cedarbrook Park. You made the
    comment on Bernice's blog sometime last year. I Am Not Your Enemy!!!

  7. I posted your comment here--here is my rebuttal. I am not "afraid" of anything--however, I would be deeply dismayed if others agreed with some of the commentary that was made that singled out Latinos ("South American"--your term) as a problem in Plainfield. Also, Gloria Taylor is not "the voice of the [3rd] Ward"--she is only one of 3 representatives--one of the others is Councilwoman Brown. I am the other councilwoman.

    I am not "voiceless and ineffective" in the 3rd Ward--you may remember that I am the one who just two months ago brought so much public pressure to the council regarding the Liberty Village issue that the other councilors who were ready to vote Jerry Green's way were forced to capitulate and vote in the interests of the Liberty Village residents. That is hardly being voiceless and ineffective.

    Further, if you speak to other 3rd Ward residents about the quality of my constituent service and responsiveness on a variety of issues (code enforcement, speeding, crime, taxes, assisting them with specific issues), you will hear that I provide excellent service--I am not bragging--I am stating a fact. Even if your expectations of Councilwoman Taylor are "nil," as you state, she has a responsibility to look out for the interests of the 3rd Ward residents--not Jerry Green's interests, not the interests of her friends, but the interests of everyone.

    Unfortunately, her continuing intemperate remarks about me--she may be unaware that her remarks have been overheard and duly noted by me--do not portend her as an unbiased, effective or even adequate councilwoman, as she seems to be unaware of her role and unable to stop running her mouth and exposing her serious biases--or, she is dismissive of much of it. It is not my intention to alienate any of my constituents--yes, I acknowledged that I thought the festival should be moved to Cedar Brook Park--I still think a more scenic and family-friendly venue would be better. You are free to comment as much as you want.