Thursday, July 28, 2016

9th Annual Plainfield Community Barbecue Set for Saturday, August 20

The First Lady and I invite you to our 9th Annual Community BBQ on Saturday, August 20, 2016, from 4:00 pm until midnight, at our home located at 535 West 8th Street, Plainfield, NJ. As always, the BBQ is open to the entire Plainfield community. 

This year, however, there is an admission cost: Canned/non-perishable food items, as well as toiletries, for donation to our neediest Plainfielders.*

We look forward to seeing all of Plainfield to celebrate this wonderful summer with you. A good time awaits one and all--constituents, neighbors, family, and friends.  

*If you are unable to attend this year's barbecue, please drop off your items on our front porch at 535 West 8th Street, right here in Plainfield.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Plainfield is Open for Business and We're Here to Help!

My administration and I are committed to the growth of Plainfield—not only to the overall growth of its economy, but also to the cultural, social, and personal growth of every business and every individual in the community. With that in mind, we continuously seek ways to promote and support that growth utilizing various avenues of engagement, such as in the commercials focused on Plainfield's economic development and on Plainfield's rich, historic housing stock. Scroll to the bottom of this post to view the videos. Further, over the past year, we have hosted several seminars and networking events with just such a focus: 
  • Financial Analysis to learn how to manage finances and become debt-free
  • Retirement plans for business owners
  • How to build or rebuild your credit
  • Business networking event
  • Meet the bankers networking event
  • Business Continuity Workshop emphasizing staying open for business, how to handle business disruptions
These are just some that have taken place within the last year, and we intend to continue to provide these events to support our local businesses and residents. In just a few weeks, we will host an “Introduction to QuickBooks seminar, focusing on strategies to keep your business records and transactions in order.

We recognize that it can be overwhelming, handling the day-to-day responsibilities that go with being an adult, a parent, a business owner…. What we want to do is supply tools and mechanisms that can help you cope with these responsibilities. When one of us grows, even incrementally, we all grow.

We want to strengthen our community, we want to provide a path to higher education for all who want to pursue it, and we want to see our city flourish and thrive. What we don’t want to see is one of us struggling because he or she lacks adequate support or resources.

Our city is experiencing growth in every sector. Investors and developers have shown that they believe Plainfield is a great place to live, work, and grow, and so have invested in Plainfield. We want our community and local businesses to benefit from these investments and grow proportionately.
Many of you may have heard of the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program. It allows the city administration to provide grants to businesses to help with things like improved signage and fa├žades which help make the business more aesthetically pleasing. The designation also allows businesses enrolled in the UEZ program to charge only ½ the regular sales tax rate to their customers. Many businesses have taken advantage of this program and have benefited greatly.

One such business has been able to double the size of their restaurant in 15 years and now attracts customers not only from Plainfield, but also those from the surrounding municipalities and even some from as far away as New York City. We want to see every business in Plainfield enjoy this kind of success and continue to grow every year as the City grows.

Plainfield, I encourage you to take advantage of every program, every seminar, and every resource available to you. If we could we would visit every house, every school, every business, and speak with you personally… but we can’t do that. What we can do is make them available and hope that you will come and join us, that you will be as dedicated to growing Plainfield as we are, that you will see the potential as we do, and that you will fight to see that vision come to fruition.

If you want to know what is happening…here's what you should do:

The information is there and we are open for business!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Plainfield Summer: Public Safety, Education, Redevelopment, and Quality of Life

Fishing at Cedar Brook Park

Public safety, education and development of our youth, redevelopment of Plainfield, and a decent quality of life for our residents are among the things that are top priorities for me as Mayor.

During the summertime, as we experience extended periods of day light and most people want to enjoy the outdoors, my administration has been working hard to ensure that there are quality activities available for all, especially for our youth.

Young people love having fun in the pool during the hot summer days and we have ensured that all three public pools are opened until 6:00 pm each day. Trained lifeguards are on duty and breakfast and lunch are provided for pool patrons. Our parks are opened for everyone to enjoy, and the popular "Hooked on Fishing, not Drugs" program is once more inviting people to join them on Saturday mornings for fishing lessons. Of course, you may opt to fish on your own and, to that end, we have stocked several of the ponds around town.

Our Parks and Recreation Department continues to be responsive to the recreational needs of our community by providing guided activities such as Lego Robotics, Swim Lessons, Art in the Park, and Double Dutch, just to name a few. 

Plainfield, let me reassure you: we are committed to keeping our young people safely occupied and off the street, and we will continue to provide these programs for them as well as for our older active adults.

Not to be outdone, our Health Department will be offering free Zumba classes in the near future. Part of having a good quality of life means staying healthy, and we are committed to a healthy lifestyle for all in our community.

Our Police Department has been actively involved in engaging the community and particularly the youth with several social initiatives. They have committed to having a picnic in each of our wards throughout the summer. The recent community barbecue at Hannah Atkins Park was fun and well attended--the next barbecue is scheduled for this coming Friday, July 22nd (details of which are included in my weekly newsletter).

The Police Division has several other programs which entail young people working closely with Police Officers and having the opportunity to be mentored by them.  To paraphrase Proverbs 16:27, "idle hands are the devil's workshop," so all these programs are geared toward empowering our young people and providing alternatives to idle activity.

Our Public Library is a great resource when looking for activities, they have several Xbox tournaments which run weekly as well as other interactive and informative programs....

Plainfield is a great place to hang out for summer fun.... We have our annual National Night Out fast approaching on Tuesday, August 2nd, which will feature a car show for the first time, refreshments, and fun. In addition, we plan to provide book bags and school supplies for at least 400 Plainfield children. When we say we are serious about providing tools to educate our youth, it's not a commitment we take lightly, and we are finding creative ways to make it happen.

Take a walk downtown and sample our international fare at our restaurants. Here in Plainfield, you can find a diversity of activity: from Bike races, to parades...from concerts to barbecues...from pool fun to Xbox racing...from Tex-Mex to gourmet eats....

Our little city is chock full of things to do and see this summer and I hope to see you out and about in Plainfield. Have a happy, fun-filled summer!

Creating One Plainfield - One Future,

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield


Monday, July 18, 2016

Eric Watson, Director of Public Works and Urban Development

Eric Watson, photo by Bernice Paglia

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the sudden passing of our friend and colleague, Director of Public Works and Urban Development, Eric Watson. A longtime Plainfield resident, Eric was a valued member of the administration and a great friend to many. More information will be shared as it becomes available. 
In the meantime, please keep his wife, Tanya, and their entire family in your prayers. May his soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in eternal peace.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"The Weakness of Violence"

Dear Plainfield Community,

As a nation we are truly stunned and saddened by the tragic events that have unfolded over the past few days.

While the shooting deaths of Philando Castile of Minnesota and Alton Sterling of Louisiana are still under investigation, we can agree that any loss of life is tragic. Seemingly needless tragedy makes the loss even harder to bear.

Compounding these tragedies are the deaths of five police officers and the wounding of seven in Dallas, Texas. An act of violence as a retaliatory tactic achieves nothing but needless loss of life and only begets more violence. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that “If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation.”

My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and families of these horrendous events. It is apparent that as a nation something has been broken. Somewhere there is a disconnect that has caused a breakdown in the trust that should exist between Law Enforcement Officers and members of the public.

While there are no fast fixes there has to be a way forward to find accord, and it can only happen if everyone is willing to come together without prejudice and with open minds and hearts.

Plainfield, despite the challenges that we experience here, we can be grateful that there is a great relationship that exists between our law-enforcement forces and our community.

Our officers are our neighbors, our family, our friends and they are a part of the fabric that makes up our diverse city.

Since rolling out our body camera program complaints against our local police force has dropped by 60%. While that overall number was never high to begin with, this still represents a significant drop and demonstrates that there is a high level of trust between our officers and our residents.

Our officers are out on the streets every day interacting with members of the community. They are active in our schools and have created several programs which allows them to interact with and mentor many of our young people. We take great pains to vet all incoming officers and ensure they are residents of Plainfield. They have a vested interest in finding peaceful resolutions as far as possible without endangering the lives of themselves or others.

Plainfield's law enforcement officers even go one step further in sponsoring local cookouts and block parties. They are truly committed to ensuring that the bonds between themselves and the community remain strong and trustworthy and we are fortunate to have these types of officers in our city.

As we go about our business over this weekend let’s take a moment to remember those who have gone from us, let’s try to remove our anger and our resentment and think of the lives lost. Let’s try to think how we can as individuals help to influence and make a difference in this situation.

Today I leave you with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which are as important now as they were when first uttered:

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
                                                                       --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Creating One Plainfield - One Future,

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield