Sunday, December 27, 2009

2010 - Predictions for Change

Having heard a presentation from the Plainfield Cable TV Advisory Commission last fall, I was impressed by a vision, clearly defined goals and attention to policy details. The vision is to use the cable TV channel to showcase Plainfield. That would be a good antidote to the mainstream news coverage of Plainfield which likes to focus on crime. Our cable TV station has been an wasted opportunity crying out for fulfillment. I am hearing plans to teach Plainfield students about TV production and teach viewers around the greater viewing area about Plainfield's many assets. Maybe it is time for our TV station to become an asset to the city.
In contrast, the PMUA did not share a vision for the future when they came before the Council in 2009. They seem to be satisfied with their current performance. I have been satisfied with my service but as the costs go up, it is not good enough to say that because waste costs are escalating everywhere, that it is acceptable. I am waiting for the PMUA leadership to step up to the plate and repair its public image so surrounding towns will become purchasers of services. Business expansion and a composting program are my vision for PMUA. Composting and other strategies to reduce waste at the source are going to become more important than recycling as we know it.
Leadership will make the difference between a commission that anticipates the future and achieves its goals and one that does not. I am hoping that the Council will be presented with commission nominations that have vision and are serious about improving services to our residents and not merely politically connected people who will maintain the status quo. The Cable TV and PMUA commissions need people who understand the opportunities that exist to connect Plainfield with the rest of the world in useful and cost effective ways. I would like to be as hopeful about the PMUA as I am about the TV station. That is another holiday wish.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Holiday Wish or Two for Plainfield

If I could have it my way for Plainfield government, here is what would be wrapped and waiting for me under the Christmas tree:

1. A sincere promise from city administrators to give straight answers to questions from the Council and the public.

2. A Council that is willing to take the necessary disciplinary actions against administrators who engage in dishonest and unethical behavior such as the deceitful responses to questions about the city's new baseball/softball program.

3. A pledge from the Clerks office to immediately convert the Council packets from paper to email and put all agendas and minutes on the city website for all to see.

4. A commitment from the Council President and Mayor to hold a January retreat that would result in shared goals for 2010.

5. A new PMUA Commission that would set the PMUA on a more business oriented path. The new commissioners would have to be more than mere replacements. They would have to be strong and firm in insisting on changes in the performance of the PMUA staff leadership. Well intentioned "nice guys" need not apply. There will be resistance and the Commission will have to be on its game.

6. A real economic development plan to create jobs for our residents that treats the Special Improvement District and Chamber of Commerce as real partners with the city.

I have more wishes but they are for another day.