Monday, February 9, 2015

2/9 Plainfield City News: From the Office of the Mayor

Dear Plainfield,

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Welcome to my weekly update!  This week I am sharing information pertaining to the following:
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) Deadline
  • Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) Extension
  • Cities of the 21st Century Survey
  • Education Mayor's Playbook
  • Economic Development Update
  • Public Affairs and Safety Update
  • Arts and Culture
  • Resources
See below. 

Creating One Plainfield - One Future,

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield

Affordable Care Act Deadline Approaching

Important: The health and well-being of every resident is important to me and my administration. We need to make sure all residents have access to healthcare. It is important to note that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period ends on February 15, 2015. My administration will be hosting a registration drive event on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, here at City Hall. If you have not signed up for healthcare, or know someone who hasn't, be sure to read and make note of the details of the registration event which are presented below. We will be holding the following event in an effort to help residents register before the deadline:
ACA (Affordable Care Act) Registration Drive Event
When: Thursday, February 12th
Time: 3:00 - 8:30 pm
Where: Plainfield City Hall Library
For more information call: (973) 500-6031
The ACA Navigator is available at the City Hall Annex: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00pm.
Click below to watch the new Affordable Care Act Public Service Announcement. 

 Home Affordable Refinance Project (HARP)

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which allows qualifying homeowners the chance to refinance to today’s low mortgage rates, was originally formed in 2009 as a way to help “strapped” homeowners regain equity. The president recently announced the decision to extend HARP into 2015, allowing more homeowners to realize their savings potential. Thanks to these new government programs, mortgage rates are now at an all-time low, and homeowner are acting quickly by taking advantage of their opportunity to refinance. Click here for more information and to see if you qualify.

Cities of the 21st Century Survey

While attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors in January of this year, I participated in a very interesting session, entitled The Cities of the 21st Century - A Survey of Public Opinion. The U.S. Conference of Mayors commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct a survey of 2,425 respondents nationwide to examine perceptions of their governments on the federal, state, and local levels, and to offer an evaluation on performance, I am sure that you, like, me, will discover these findings to be interesting. Click here to read key findings from the survey.

The Education Mayor's Online Playbook

As mayor, securing a good education for all of Plainfield's children is at the top of my priorities. I join other Education Mayors throughout the country by partnering with the local Board of Education and Superintendent to ensure our children perform up to their full potential, and to make education a focus, In the coming weeks, I will be highlighting the four areas of the Educational Excellence Task Force's report. Click on the link to visit: The Education Mayor's Online Playbook.

Economic Development Update

Ribbon Cutting - New Plainfield Restaurant
On Monday, February 2, I performed a ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening of the Un Renacer Bakery. This new establishment has wonderful Mexican cuisine and amazing Tres Leches cakes. The restaurant is located in the heart of the Plainfield Civic District at 500 Watchung Avenue, right across from city hall--and they deliver! Give this new restaurant a try--call (908) 941-5560 for more information. We are transforming downtown Plainfield, one business at a time.

Public Affairs & Safety Update
Accreditation Update 
In May of 2014, the Police Division entered into a consulting contract with The Rodgers Group, LLC.  Members of the Group are currently working with the Director of Public Safety and Police and the Administrative Bureau Commander to coordinate the updating of outdated Policies, Procedures, Rules and Regulations.  Depending on the size of the agency, the process of obtaining the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs Police Accreditation Standards Certificate can take  anywhere from 1 to 3 years. The Police Division is moving forward and will be prepared for its onsite assessment during the spring of 2016.

At this time, the re-occurring cost associated with the program is $4,750 for the Power DMS annual software fee, and $2,826 for Guarding Tracking annual software fee. These two items have been factored into the yearly police budget. The Power DMS System is an essential part of the process. The system enables documents to be distributed to all personnel electronically. All personnel must electronically sign for documents so that there is unambiguous accountability and a record of  every review. The Guardian Tracking software provides the Police Division with a centralized and standard method of documentation to track employee performance. This allows monitoring of incidents of good and bad performance, rewards and recognition, and evaluations or any other work related happenings.

The Rodgers Group has also developed a 12 month in-service training program for the Police Division. Training modules are designed specifically for Plainfield and address the mandatory training requirements set forth by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office and the NJSACOP Accreditation Program. The cost of this training is $22,016. This was paid for at no cost to the City from the Special Law Enforcement Trust Fund authorized by the Union County Prosecutor's Office. As this training is and continues to be beneficial, this is an optional yearly service that we have chosen not to renew this year. However, the mandatory training requirements will continue to be taught internally. The Police Division has increased the number of in-house instructors and will take advantage of the many in-service courses held throughout the year at the Union County Police Academy. 

Arts & Culture Update

Westry Horne Cultural and Heritage Series
Lecture and Intergenerational Dialogue: “Why Study African-American History?”
William "Bill" Payne and Dr. Akil Khalfani
Date: Saturday, February 7, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Washington Community School
427 Darrow Avenue, Plainfield, NJ
For more information, call (908) 868-8704

Crescent Concerts
Showcase for Exceptional Young Artists
Date: Sunday, February 8, 2015
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church
716 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060 

duCret School of Art - 36th Annual High School Art Show
Come and see a great art exhibit from New Jersey high school students in their junior and senior years. Art categories include: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel, Pencil, Pen & Ink, Printmaking, Serigraph, Mixed Media, Traditional & Digital photography and Graphic Art. [No hand crafts, sculpture or pottery] Prizes will be awarded at the reception.
Date: Friday, February 27th 
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm 
Location: duCret School of Art (auditorium) 
1030 Central Ave Plainfield, NJ 07060  
For more information, call(908) 757-7171
Plainfield Public Library   
As of February 16, 2015 the Library will be returning to regular hours.
Monday through Thursday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 9:00 - 5:00 pm
Sunday: closed 

"Rhythm and Praise" Photography Exhibit Continues 

The Brian Price Photography Exhibit showcases the Epic Journey of Black Gospel music. The exhibit runs through March 28, 2015 
Location: Plainfield Public Library, Anne Louise Davis Gallery 
800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060

Career Resources for Our Kids
Educating Our Kids on Different Careers
Often times we have an opportunity to speak to our children about their interests and related careers. Many of our children are interested in animals and wildlife and what a perfect opportunity to share this informative video about Federal Wildlife Officers from the website

Additional Resources

Issuing Complaints with a Communications Service 
Have an Issue with a Communications Service? It's now easier to file a complaint. Last week, the FCC debuted a new online Consumer Help Center, designed to make it easier for you to file complaints and get responses about your concerns. Once you file, you can also monitor and track the status of your complaint 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Complaint categories are broken down by service: TV, phone, Internet, and radio. If you're considering making a complaint, here is what happens once you file. The FCC handles issues specifically related to communications. If you have a consumer complaint for another area, the Consumer Action Handbook can help you resolve it, as well as provide valuable information on being a smart consumer and avoiding scams and frauds.

Until next time...

Stay warm and have a great weekend!


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