Tuesday, January 13, 2015

7th Annual MLK Potluck Food Drive - Saturday, January 17th at 5:30 pm

Loading donations from last year's event.
Dear Plainfield,

This year's event--the 7th Annual MLK Food Drive and Potluck Celebration--is scheduled for this coming Saturday, January 17, 2015 starting at 5:30 pm. As always, the party will be at our home at 535 West Eighth Street--click on the flier below and print it out. Bring a dish to share for the potluck, and meet and greet your friends and neighbors! 

First Lady Amelia Mapp and I are proud to once again serve as hosts for this wonderful event as we honor the legacy of Dr. King who, in his 1964 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, said: 

Click and print out the flier.

“Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life? We have amazing knowledge of vitamins, nutrition, the chemistry of food, and the versatility of atoms. There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will.”  
You may drop off your donations of canned goods and other non-perishable food items on our front porch anytime between now and Saturday. The weather forecast for Saturday looks wonderful so far (high 30s). Those of you attending the party can bring your donations with you. We look forward to welcoming you and to having a good time with all as we collectively do for others as we would have them do for us! 

Best regards,

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Plainfield Wants ALL Our Kids to be Able to Play Baseball

Kids just want to play ball. They don't understand why adults sometimes don't seem to get it. And Plainfield is no exception. 

When I took office a year ago, Plainfield had a situation where the prior administration had favored one group of parents and supporters against another. It was ugly and unworkable. My hope was that we would be able to bring all those interested in playing baseball together. Sadly, that has not been able to work out, despite one season of trying. 

Part of the contention arises from the fact that Plainfield never in its history had a city-sponsored baseball league until my predecessor initiated the Negro League in 2010--just four or so years ago. Prior to that time, youth baseball in Plainfield had been under the sponsorship of the Police Athletic League, with the city only supplying playing fields. However well-intended, this policy of my predecessor was misguided and has had unfortunate results.

Among the hard feelings caused has been a whisper campaign against the other baseball group, alleging financial improprieties. Those allegations were found to be baseless by a judge, and the matter was closed with both sides being party to a gag order forbidding them to discuss the settlement publicly. Those who are circulating these rumors were not part of that proceeding and have no standing in the matter. 

Over the past several months, Acting Director of the Department of Public Works and Urban Development Eric Watson and Parks & Recreation Superintendent Roni Taylor have met several times with representatives of the former Negro League to try and broker an agreement as to how to proceed. Despite trying, we could not come to a meeting of the minds. 

Accordingly, I am giving my blessing to any and all -- including the former Negro League and its supporters -- who wish to recruit teams and form a league for the 2015 season and going forward. There will be a level playing field and all will be treated fairly and with respect, in a truly sportsmanlike manner. 

The City of Plainfield will stand firmly by its historic policy of allowing teams to be formed and managed by private groups and individuals, with the city's responsibility being to provide and maintain ballfields for the use of our young baseball players. My administration will see to it that the use of the City's ballfields is equitably split between the teams and leagues that wish to play and who meet the city's criteria for use of the fields.

America has two proud traditions--cooperation and competition. I would have preferred cooperation, but if it has to be competition, that is the American way, too. 
So, as we anticipate the 2015 season, let's ALL play ball!