Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Muhlenberg Campus Community Meeting:Thursday, April 24 in the Fourth Ward--7 PM at Clinton Elementary School
I want to remind everyone that the next community meeting to discuss the future of the Muhlenberg Campus is scheduled for Thursday, April 24, at 7:00 PM at Clinton Community School, located in the Fourth Ward, 1302 West Fourth Street, at Clinton Avenue.
The hope is that having the meeting in the local neighborhoods near the schools will make it easier for parents, residents, and other stakeholders to make it to the meetings. When I was out in the Fourth Ward canvassing, Muhlenberg was one of the top issues that our citizens were concerned about (the other issues were public safety, jobs, quality of life issues, and PMUA rates--especially for the senior citizen homeowners on fixed incomes).
So, the fact that this meeting is in the heart of the Fourth Ward should encourage everyone there who is concerned about keeping medical services in our city to come out. I would add, though, that it is imperative that residents from ALL OVER our city come out to provide input to the consultant hired by the City Council on what you want for that campus.
You know that there are forces at work which are determined to force their agenda (and make megabucks off so-called "luxury" apartments) onto the people of Plainfield. JFK proposes to provide an upgraded emergency room here--and maybe put in an X-Ray machine or something, and at the same time add 660 luxury residential units on the campus. How does it make any sense to take away hospital services and add upward of 1200-1500 new residents? Imagine the additional burden that would be placed on our already-strained resources!
Interestingly, when we (the City Council) were looking at the proposed budget deliberation schedule the other day, I saw that a budget discussion was scheduled for the same night as the community meeting. I suggested to my colleagues that we not have our budget talk on the same night as this very important community meeting, as it was not in the interest of our residents to be forced to choose between these two meetings, which focus on the future of Plainfield.
Councilman Reid then stated that he didn't see why the council should have to change the schedule because one councilperson (me) wanted to go to the community meeting on Muhlenberg--he ignored the fact that Councilman Cory Storch was at the first meeting at Plainfield High School.
What was interesting was that Reid seemed to be implying that no one else from the governing body would be attending these very important community meetings--which had been scheduled prior to any budget scheduling. I made a comment as to why he presumed to know what the other councilors would want to do. Ignoring me, as usual, Reid made it pretty clear that these community hearings are not important to him--I find that highly problematic.
We, as councilors, hired the consultant, and we are YOUR representatives. I think it's important to hear from my constituents--I consider it my obligation as the person YOU PAY to represent your interests to hear what you have to say regarding this and other issues important to our city. That said, the council will not be having a budget deliberation on that day, and I will be at the Thursday, April 24th Community Meeting to hear from those of you who perhaps could not make it to the first one.
Today's Courier-News published an article on the new, $30 million emergency room that JFK has just unveiled. Read that article by clicking here: JFK Medical Center in Edison unveils New Emergency Room.
Please let your neighbors know to come to the Thursday, April 24 meeting. We will be spreading the word in other municipalities as well--remember, Muhlenberg was a regional medical center, used by the people of North Plainfield, South Plainfield, Edison, Fanwood, and Scotch Plains, as well as Plainfield. The Plainfield City Council wants to hear from you. I would also urge those of you who cannot make it to the meetings to write or email us to let us know your thoughts.