Friday, May 27, 2011

My Accomplishments as a Councilman

I love Plainfield and I am proud to have been of service as a team player to unlock the incredible potential that exists in our city. My opponent, Tony Rucker is campaigning on his main position: "Cory Storch hasn't done anything. It's my turn". Tony, if you hadn't stopped following the City Council after you lost the election 4 years ago, you would know better. Do your homework!

Below are some of the recent accomplishments that I have achieved. Much more needs to be done.

Public Safety: advocate for surveillance cameras and supporting use of Urban Enterprise Zone funding to make it happen. I am a long time advocate for enforcement of our speeding laws. I was an advocate for the creation of our Curfew Ordinance (needs the leadership of the Mayor to enforce it).

Recreation: advocate for creation of a Recreation Commission. Although the Mayor vetoed this Council ordinance, I will fight to bring it back and get it approved. Only with a commission can residents be assured that Plainfield recreation programs will be held accountable to do what needs to be done for our children and seniors.

Easing the Tax Burden: as a member of the Finance Committee for each year on Council save one, responsible for budget reductions saving residents millions in property taxes. I was co-author and primary sponsor of FY 2012 budget planning resolution calling for 5 year budgeting, earlier budget adoption and a more collaborative process. I am long time advocate for competitive bidding for engineering, legal and insurance services (opposed by Mayor).

Banking Ordinance - As member of the Finance and Administration Committee I assisted with the creation of, and the adoption of an ordinance that directs the Administration to issue an RFP for banking services. Such an RFP will ensure the City receives the greatest return on the money it invests in financial institutions. This also prevents the Administration from making arbitrary investment decisions with our tax payers’ money.

Bid Threshold Ordinance: As a member of the Finance and Administration Committee I assisted with the creation of, and the adoption of an ordinance that lowered the bid threshold from $39,000 to $17,500 so as to promote greater competition amongst vendors while preventing the Administration from awarding non professional service contracts above this $17,500 pay to play limit without approval from the Council.

Road Program: as a member of Council Finance Committee, created the original road paving program in 2004, leading to first city-wide paving program in 30 years. I was a leading advocate for purchase of road maintenance equipment - milling/paving machine, hot patch and crack sealing equipment.

Roads: I supported bond ordinances that led to the reconstruction of numerous roads including Kensington Ave, Thornton Ave, Stilford Ave, Oak Lane, Evergreen Avenue, Watchung Avenue, Carnegie Ave, Central Street, Cedarbrook Road, Brook Lane, to name just a few.

South Ave Road Reconstruction – I advocated for and supported the funding for the reconstruction of South Avenue from Terrill Road to Woodland Avenue, a project that will get under way this year.

CFO Resolution: I supported a resolution that was sent to the NJ Division of Local Government Services encouraging the DLGS to appoint a CFO. This caused the State to intervene thus forcing the Mayor to appoint a CFO after nearly three years.

Dudley House: I supported the transfer of Dudley House to a non-profit organization at a significant cost savings to tax payers. Instead of being a cost to the City, Dudley House is now a generator of revenue for the City. Services are operated by a qualified non-profit service provider with an excellent reputation.

Advocate against hate and bias crimes: I was author and primary sponsor of the resolution against hate crimes and ugly free speech.

Environmental Advocacy: I was the first LEED advocate in Plainfield, got LEED commitment into downtown redevelopment agreement. This makes Plainfield a leader in making our downtown a healthier place to live and shop.

Environmental Advocacy: I was a primary sponsor and long term supporter of Shade Tree Commission and as a Council advocate, provided tree planting funding.

Library Advocacy: I protected our library from budget cuts that would reduce hours of operation and reduce access of citizens to educational and career resources they need to succeed.

Flood Control: I was a leading advocate for the North Ave flood control and road improvement project.

Economic Development:
• primary sponsor of transit village vision study, finally giving residents a say in how we want Plainfield to develop. Now we have a blueprint with which to attract and guide developers.
• leading advocate and co-sponsor of Rutgers Economic Development study, currently under way. This will be Plainfield’s road map for job creation for our residents.
• leading advocate and sponsor of resolutions creating downtown streetscape
• primary sponsor of abandoned properties ordinance

Checks and Balances:
• In the 5+ years that Mayor Robinson Briggs has served, I have blocked bad ideas and proposals that were not in the city’s interests. Unfortunately there are too many of these to list. To name a few: the firing of the best city administrator Plainfield has had in many years, the proposed Monarch tax abatement and the city’s proposed purchase of the YWCA building.
• Much more can be done but the Mayor needs to be pushed hard to deliver good services to Plainfield residents. A strong City Council is needed more than ever.

Vote for the Democratic team in Column C: Dee Dameron and I for Council and City Committee candidates as well. It's time to take back Plainfield.

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