120 West 7th Street (at Arlington Ave.)
Constituent service and relations are the key cornerstones of a representative democracy. People should have a place where they can come to receive services from their elected representatives, and elected officials have an obligation to be available and accessible to the people who elected them. It is not good enough to show up at the doors of the voters every four years; we must be visible and reachable each and every day. I believe that transparency in government must be more than just a catch phrase; it must be embraced and practiced by all public servants. A healthy dose of transparency must be mixed with plentiful displays of ethical leadership and blended with a visible demonstration of commitment and accountability that will create a transformative landscape of public servants willing to serve their communities. This is the kind of leadership that is required and needed from all who hold themselves out as public servants, and the public should accept nothing less.
When I was last on the Plainfield City Council in 2004, I advocated using part of the $500K grant secured for the Tepper's building by Senator Frank Lautenberg to create a council chamber with office space (at the garden level) for members of the governing body. I feel now, as I did then, that council members need to have their own office space within the city where they can meet with their constituents. My idea did not win the support of my colleagues back then, and the space in the Tepper's building remains largely unfinished to this day.
I am a firm believer in the notion that constituent service is a key barometer by which the performance of elected officials should be measured; it should be part of the scorecard that residents keep on their elected officials. Yet, members of the legislative branch have no space within the city where they can meet with their constituents, since City Hall and all other city-owned buildings are used by the administration.
However, in every facet of life, we must strive to rise above limitations that impede progress and performance. It is in that spirit that I sought out and secured space where I can meet with my constituents. Therefore, I am please to announce that I will be holding office hours from 6:30 - 8:00 pm every Thursday, beginning September 10, 2009 to make myself more available and accessible to my 3rd Ward constituents. I will, however, meet with any resident regardless of ward, who has an issue or concern that needs to be addressed by elected officials.
My office will be located on the 2nd floor of 120 West 7th Street (at Arlington Avenue). I encourage you to stop by. I am committed to providing you with the assistance you need and deserve. Please feel free to reach out to me with any concerns you may have. My contact information is at left.