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AP News

Bill allowing civilian review of police misconduct advances
By: Mike Catalini
March 17th, 2020

New Jersey’s cities and towns could set up civilian boards to investigate excessive force by police under legislation an Assembly committee approved Wednesday.

The civilian review boards are in place in police departments around the country and have been at the heart of activists’ efforts to curtail police violence for years in New Jersey.

But Wednesday’s legislation advanced after an August ruling by the state Supreme Court on Newark’s civilian review board, and it has taken on even greater urgency after last spring and summer’s Black Lives Matter protests.

The legislation advanced after hours of testimony, with many community activists as well as the mayors of the state’s three biggest cities and Plainfield all testifying in support.

“We believe that a (civilian review board) will protect the integrity of an investigation, protect both the police and the public, and will allow for the powerful disinfectant known as sunshine to penetrate the process so as to add an additional layer of protection and transparency,” Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp said.

In the Newark case, the Fraternal Order of Police opposed the city’s board and sued. The court handed down a mixed opinion, saying that Newark had the authority to create a board through local ordinance, but that it didn’t have the power to give it subpoena power.

The legislation advancing Wednesday had initially authorized cities and towns to create boards with subpoena power, but the bill was changed in committee to make subpoena power subject to approval by state Superior Court.

Another key component of the measure was authorization for concurrent investigations by the board and police internal affairs departments.

That’s important, according to Sarah Fajardo of the American Civil Liberties Union, because a concurrent — sometimes called parallel — investigation results in independent findings, and that helps foster accountability and transparency.

But the bill was changed to curtail that ability, and instead the legislation now calls for a review board to refer cases to police internal affairs. If the unit doesn’t complete its investigation within 120 days, the board can begin an investigation.

The ACLU wants the 120-day waiting period removed, Fajardo said.

“Civilian review boards should be able to be able to start their investigations on their own timeline, and we are hoping to work with the sponsors to remove that provision,” she said.

Pat Colligan, the head of the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, said that he was still reviewing the bill changes but that he appreciated the sponsor making changes.

It’s unclear which lawmaker put the amendments forward, but the sponsor, Assembly member Angela McKnight, a Democrat from Jersey City, said she opposes making subpoena power subject to court approval. She also stressed that the bill will likely go through more iterations before it’s in final form.

Insider NJ

Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp and City Council Members to Break Ground on New Five-Story Mixed-Use Apartment Complex
By: Staff
February 23rd, 2021

MEDIA ADVISORY: Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp and City Council Members to Break Ground on New Five-Story Mixed-Use Apartment Complex

What:

Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp and members of the City Council will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at 1000 North Avenue, a new five-story, market rate apartment complex that will include over 120 new apartments.

1000 North Avenue will be the second major luxury apartment building near the Netherwood Train Station, situated between South and North Avenues.

The 1000 North Avenue project is a 120-unit market-rate development financed by an Opportunity Zone fund.

This major economic development project totals $34.3 million in new investment as well as 150 temporary jobs, three full-time jobs, and eight part-time jobs.

The developers, Mayor Mapp and his team, and the Governor’s Office worked together for over a year to champion the project and secure NJDEP approval. The ceremony will be attended by many state elected officials, with remarks by Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver.

Thanks to Mayor Mapp’s leadership, Plainfield has over $1B of private investment in the pipeline representing 5000 residential units, more than 500,000 square feet of retail/commercial spaces, thousands of temporary construction jobs, and hundreds of permanent jobs.

WHO:

Mayor Adrian Mapp
New Jersey Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver
Senator Nick Scutari
Assemblywoman Linda Carter
Iron Ore Properties
Councilman Steve Hockaday Esq.
Councilman Barry Goode
Councilwoman Joylette Mills-Ransome
Councilman Charles Mcrae
Councilwoman Stacy Welch

WHEN:

Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 12:00 PM

WHERE:

1000 North Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey 07062

About Mayor Mapp

Adrian O. Mapp was first sworn into office as the Mayor of Plainfield on January 1, 2014. Mayor Mapp is a fighter for progressive change, tirelessly working to build a stronger and healthier City of Plainfield. As Mayor of one of Union County’s largest municipalities, Mayor Mapp is a leading and progressive Democrat whose inclusionary agenda has brought people together and ignited The City of Plainfield’s renaissance.

To learn more about Mayor Mapp and his initiatives, please visit his website at mapp4mayor.com or follow Mayor Mapp on social media channels, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Insider NJ

Insider NJ’s Key Must-Read Pieces From The Past Week
By: Insider NJ
March 5th, 2021

From Plainfield to Paterson to Phillipsburg, from LD2 to LD39, from Atlantic County to Bergen County, here are the Insider NJ key must-read pieces from the past week:

InsiderNJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of March 1st

See where the players stand in Jersey politics over the past week.

Schepisi Assumes the Command Position in LD39

Insider NJ had dubbed LD39 Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi as “the fighter.” But as the Bergen County attorney was gearing up for what she described as an unexpected race against Senator Gerald Cardinale—claiming that he was not going to seek re-election when she made her decision to run for state senate—New Jersey’s second-longest-serving senator (after Richard Codey) passed away on February 20. With Cardinale’s death at 86 years of age, the light began to immediately show between LD39’s two Republican assembly members.

Schepisi Stunned by Auth’s Surreal Behavior in LD39

Just when you thought it was over. When Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi said the race had been “wild” in an InsiderNJ interview less than 24 hours from the time of this writing, the LD39 soap opera made another dramatic turn.

In the space of time between Insider NJ’s last publication on Holly Schepisi and Robert Auth releasing a statement of unity, where Schepisi would run for state senate and Auth continue for assembly, things changed.

She learned through another press source that Auth had—apparently—done a one-eighty and was going to pursue the senate seat after all.

Bergen County Nightmare: LD37 Threatens to Upend the Power Structure

When they write the story of the downfall of this particular version of the NJ Democratic Party, they will say it started in Bergen, which is fitting, perhaps, for when it comes to New Jersey, even attitude-parochial Newark itself must finally endure that rather inauspicious second banana inscription of “New York suburb,” a condition arguably best embodied by wall-to-wall mall culture Bergen.

Vince v. Vince: The LD2 Terrain in the Aftermath of an Imploded Trump Plaza The impending retirement of Republican Senator Chris Brown in the battleground 2nd Legislative District (35.3% Dem/25% GOP/38.5% unaffiliated) after just four years on the legislative throne meant a face-off for a presumably vacant senate seat.

The Hudson Political Test for Bayonne’s Mayor Jimmy Davis

Jimmy Davis suspected Nick Chiaravalloti was going to somehow get the drop on him.

Trouble in Bayonne

No one codified it, but it was always tacitly understood that assembly people in Hudson County served at the pleasure of the mayors.

As LD2 Flares, an LD1 and LD3 Symbiosis Abides

In 2017, the appearance on the landscape of a financially well-connected challenger left Steve Sweeney’s insular political universe jarred and his faith in the system shaken.

The LD37 Journey of Gordon Johnson: ‘Trenton is a City of Compromise’

Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37) stands in the forward position of the biggest Democratic Party conflagration in the state right now, as he battles longtime slate mate Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37) for the senate seat occupied by retiring Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37).

Stampeding Zwicker Backs Sweeney for Senate Prez (and Other Nuggets)

Senator Kip Bateman’s (R-16) announced retirement created a few minor spasms of angst for Democrats, but not enough to throw Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) off stride, as he formally collected the endorsement last night of the Somerset County Democratic Screening Committee. LD16 Assembly Candidate Sadaf Jaffer: ‘People Shouldn’t be Cynical about Politics’

Sadaf Jaffer made history in 2019 as the first Muslim woman to serve as the mayor of a town in the United States, and she hopes to break another glass ceiling this year by winning an assembly seat in LD16 and becoming the only Muslim in the New Jersey Legislature.

Holley Outraged over Party Decision to Abandon Ally Staten in Union Bust-up

In anticipation of his Roselle ally, Union County Commissioner Andrea Staten, losing the Democratic Party line, Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20) criticized Democratic Party leadership, specifically Union County Democratic Committee Chairman Nick Scutari, for going in another direction.

Howes Says Dems’ Choice would Deny Somerset Senatorial Courtesy

Somerset County Republican Committee Chairman Tim Howes said the Somerset Screening Committee’s decision to back Middlesex-based Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) for senate indicates a shift in priorities for Somerset.

Plainfield Mayor Mapp Kicks off Reelection Campaign with Heavy Hitters in Attendance

Tonight was a long way from the New Democrat days for Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, the one-time reformer-agitator squirming on the outside of the incubator, who tonight announced his campaign kickoff for a third term as leader of New Jersey’s Queen City with all the main power players and bigwigs of the state lined up behind him.

The Fun Begins in LD26: DeCroce Targeted with Mail Piece

The letter – or actually a hit piece – targeting Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce showed up over the weekend in the mailboxes of GOP county committee members in LD-26.

LD26 Flashpoint: DeCroce Returns Fire

BettyLou DeCroce is fighting back.

Atlantic County Democratic Chair Awards the Line to Mayor Small

Atlantic County Democratic Committee Chairman Mike Suleiman today informed Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small that the incumbent mayor and his team will have the party line this year.

The Party Drive for Gender Neutrality

Politicos traditionally have tried to lessen the influence of the “old boys club” by mandating equal representation of men and women on county committees. Each district would have a male and female committee member.

Warren Dems Rebuke Phillipsburg Council President McVey for Sexist Remark

The Warren County Democrats today issued a statement regarding Phillipsburg Council President Frank McVey’s sexist remarks during last Thursday’s meeting of the public land use board.

Grewal Announces Indictments of Paterson’s Jackson and Mendez

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that Paterson City Councilmen Michael Jackson and Alex Mendez have been indicted by a state grand jury on charges of election fraud and other offenses related to the May 12, 2020 special election in the City of Paterson.

Atkins Running with Cryan and Quijano in LD20

Former Roselle Mayor Reginald Atkins will be running on the same ticket with Senator Joe Cryan and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano to represent New Jersey’s 20th legislative district in the Legislature.

Gordon Johnson on BlueWave’s Huttle Endorsement: If There Has Been A Process, I Have Been Excluded From It’

Taking issue with the endorsements of several progressive groups of Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle for the LD37 Senate seat, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson sent a letter to BlueWave NJ’s Marcia Marley expressing surprise that he wasn’t contacted ahead of the endorsement.

Inside the Republicans’ Plan to Improve Elections (Results!)

We’ve probably never seen so much commotion over voting itself, especially among Republicans.

Murphy ‘Stunned’ by Texas Decision on COVID

New Jersey is not Texas just in case you had any doubt.

Murphy Pushes Back Against Ciattarelli over Schools

Schools are a focal point in the political debate over COVID.

The Odyssey: Fred Snowflack’s Vaccination Voyage

As fate would have it, I signed up for the Covid vaccine myself a month or so ago, giving me the opportunity to do some “real” reporting on an issue.

A Sure Guarantee of Good Press

Excuse the cynicism, but what better way to seek “good press” than by supporting higher pay for journalists?

Heavy Reliance on Executive Orders Shows Need for Stronger Political Parties

These are unsettling times. Social unrest, braced by an increasingly polarized politics, made worse by the pandemic, has brought about a heightened sense of division in society and dissatisfaction with government.

Against the Tide of Logic

To many, the unsatisfactory conclusion to the impeachment trial of Donald Trump and the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol he inspired to stop certification of election results, has appropriately focused attention on the former president’s conduct.

The Battle over $15 is a 1930’s-like Defining Moment

By a 219 to 212 party line vote in the House of Representatives early Saturday morning Democrats managed to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan with two party defections over solid GOP opposition including New Jersey’s Republicans Chris Smith (pictured, above) and Jeff Van Drew.

Insider NJ

InsiderNJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of March 1st
By: Insider NJ
March 5th, 2020

Who’s Up

Holly Schepisi

The 39th District Assemblywoman finished the week in charge of the senate seat in the Republican-leaning district as Assemblyman Bob Auth quietly dropped his bid for the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Gerald Cardinale.

The 39th District Assemblywoman finished the week in charge of the senate seat in the Republican-leaning district as Assemblyman Bob Auth quietly dropped his bid for the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Gerald Cardinale.

Andrew Zwicker

In his state senate bid, the 16th District Assemblyman received the line from the Somerset Democrats on Thursday night, along with the two people who look, with each passing day, like his general election running mates: Assemblyman Roy Freiman and former Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer.

Marty Small

Running to secure a full, four year term, the mayor of Atlantic City this week received the backing of Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Mike Suleiman for the Democratic Party line in the June 8th Primary.

Steve Sweeney and Mike Testa

Giving off two peas in a pod vibes, with all suppressed South Jersey partisan aggression and penchant for gladiatorial combat projected into Atlantic City LD2, where two guys not named Testa and Sweeney will put it all on the line, the Democratic LD3 and Republican LD1 senators appear to be headed for easier-than-last-time reelection campaigns.

Adrian Mapp

The incumbent Plainfield Mayor wants a third term to lead the Queen City, and animatedly kicked off his reelection campaign on Thursday night in the virtual company of a huge swath of party power.

Who’s Down

Tom Malinowski

The 7th District Congressman – who last year narrowly defeated Republican challenger Tom Kean, Jr. – is willing to pay a fine if the House Ethics Committee slaps him for failing to disclose at least $617K in personal stock trades in 2020, his spokeswoman told Business Insider. “Filing these disclosures late was an oversight that he is taking steps to correct,” Colston Reid, Malinowski’s chief of staff, told Business Insider.

Frank McVey

Phillipsburg Council President McVey referred to Warren County Democratic Committee Vice Chair Theresa Bender Chapman as ‘Theresa Bend-her-over Chapman’ in a public land use board meeting.

Alexandra Soriano-Tavares

The Teaneck Democratic chair faced condemnation by the Orthodox Jewish community and others for a public statement she made last year, imperiling her chances at obtaining the Democratic Party line for an Assembly seat in the 37th District and complicating the life of senate candidate Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37).

Paul Juliano

“It’s a s-t show,” a Democrat fretted aloud to InsiderNJ, referring to the showdown between Assemblyman Johnson and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), blaming Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Paul Juliano for failing to avert party primary disaster as Bergen heads for a primary war in the 37th that could turn bystanders into collateral political damage.

Andrea Staten

A casualty of the Joe Cryan-Jamel Holley wars, the Union County Commissioner from Roselle failed to secure the party line for reelection to a second term, which Chairman Nick Scutari instead awarded to Rahway Councilman James Baker.

Mike Jackson and Alex Mendez

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal this week announced the indictments by a state grand jury of Paterson City Councilmen Jackson and Mendez on charges of election fraud and other offenses related to the May 12, 2020 special election in the City of Paterson.

My Central Jersey

Plainfield unveils $30M affordable housing complex, first major redevelopment in decades
By: Suzanne Russell
March 5th, 2021

The city has a new 90-unit, 100 percent affordable housing development on the corner of Grant Avenue and South Second Street.

City and state officials gathered Thursday for the ribbon-cutting of The Station at Grant Avenue, a $30 million housing development financed in part by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and offering housing for families and individuals who have household incomes between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income, or AMI.

Exterior photo of The Station at Grant Avenue 90-unit housing development in Plainfield This income range translates to $22,260 to $44,520 a year for a single person and between $31,800 and $63,600 a year for a family of four, which is in line with many New Jersey essential workers, such as EMTs, daycare workers, supermarket staff, home health aides and teachers.

In less than two years the project transformed a vacant, blighted lot into new apartments with rents for one-bedroom apartments ranging from $413 to $906; $484 to $1,074 for two-bedroom apartments, and $546 to $1,228 for three-bedroom apartments.

The Station at Grant Avenue, located at 738-758 South Second St. is in one of the most densely populated sections of Plainfield and where the lowest access to quality housing has been available.

The project, which is the most significant development in the city's Fourth Ward in more than 40 years, was designed and constructed to be indistinguishable from the high quality housing standards featured in a market rate multifamily property. Each apartment features a central air-conditioning system, in-unit full size washer and dryer, granite countertops and two bathrooms in every two-bedroom unit.

A kitchen in The Station at Grant Avenue new 90-unit housing development in Plainfield The property includes an on-site fitness center and yoga room along with a 3,000-square-foot outdoor elevated courtyard. The five-story building provides mixed-income

housing for residents and features 90 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, security controls, on-site parking and a contemporary lobby.

Mayor Adrian Mapp said this project is part of the renaissance he's been envisioning.

"It is gratifying to note that we now have redevelopment in every ward in Plainfield, representing a billion-dollar investment in our city. My goal is to transform every blighted space into something of value to our residents one project at a time," said Mapp adding The Station at Grant Avenue has a projected tax revenue of $4.5 million over 30 years.

Officials participate in the ribbon cutting for The Station at Grant Avenue, a new 90-unit affordable housing development in Plainfield.

The project also provided more than 200 construction jobs for Plainfield, Union County, and other state residents and was completed during a global pandemic.

Prior to redevelopment the vacant five-acre site brought in zero tax revenue.

The $30 million investment was designed and developed by J.G. Petrucci & TD+Partners.

Developers Jim Petrucci and Greg Rogerson of J.G. Petrucci and Patrick Terborg of TD+Partners focus on creating spaces that can be anchors for the surrounding neighborhood.

An interior room at the new The Station at Grant Avenue 90-unit housing development in Plainfield “Creating new affordable housing opportunities in a neighborhood helps to keep the community vibrant and spur new economic growth,” said Melanie R. Walter, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency executive director.

NJHMFA’s 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit award generated $8.4 million in private equity for the project. The award coupled with $15.4 million in permanent and construction financing through the agency and $15.3 million in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery assistance financing through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing, or FRM, made the project possible.

The FRM program, created following Superstorm Sandy, provides for-profit and nonprofit housing developers an opportunity to secure zero-interest and low-interest financing to develop affordable housing in the nine counties most impacted by the storm, including Plainfield. During the first 90 days of lease up in any project that has received FRM funding, applications submitted by individuals who were displaced by or experienced major storm damage from Sandy will be given priority review.

Insider NJ

City of Plainfield Says NO Tax Increase for Second Consecutive Year
By: NJ Insider
March 30th, 2021

For the second year in a row, Mayor Adrian O. Mapp of Plainfield has delivered a budget with a ZERO tax increase for Plainfield residents.

During a short but impactful City Council meeting the City’s Finance Director, Ron West outlined the key accomplishments that contributed to this historical budget as well as highlights and key priorities for the administration moving forward. The proposed budget is $86,515,442.59. The municipal tax rate decreased from $4.916 to $4.909 per $100 of assessed value.

$8.0 million was added to the fund balance and the Tax Collection rate increased to a record 97.54%. There were zero audit findings and the city Invested approximately $4 million in infrastructure-based capital improvement initiatives. All this happened while the Moody’s Rating Remained A1 for Bonds and MIG1for Bond Anticipation Notes, with a positive outlook.

Looking ahead, Mayor Mapp will focus on Economic Development, funding programs to play a lead role in Community Health and Wellness. Reducing overtime costs. Selling City owned properties and Property Tax Stabilization as just a few of the initiatives to continue on the road to financial health.

“For the second year in a row we tightened our already tight belts and delivered a budget with a zero-tax increase for our residents. Since the beginning of the pandemic we have worked hard to ensure that we continue to deliver essential services for our residents while providing economic relief,” said Mayor Adrian O. Mapp.

“Not only have we delivered a zero tax increase budget but taxpayers will see a reduction in taxes for the second straight year. We remain committed to doing that for another year, and for as long as is necessary to get our city through this very hard time.

Plainfield’s resilience has been its biggest asset and my administration understands the importance of supporting those who need it most at this time. These are challenging times so I want to publicly thank our team for staying focused on this objective and achieving it.”

My Central Jersey

Plainfield mayor kicks off bid for third term with big Democratic support
By: Suzanne Russell
March 5th, 2021

Democratic Mayor Adrian Mapp has formally kicked off his campaign for a third term in office.

His announcement came Thursday evening during a livestreamed virtual fundraiser featuring Gov. Phil Murphy and U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, who endorsed Mapp's reelection.

“I have been honored to serve the city of Plainfield as mayor for the past seven years. Together, we have helped to make our beautiful city a fairer, safer, and more prosperous place to live and raise families,” Mapp said. “In pursuing reelection, I intend to deepen our commitments to economic growth and development in a way that lifts all boats and helps our city build back better from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.”

The mayor said under his administration the city has increased levels of investment and strengthened labor protections to lower crime rates. Going forward his goals include economic and infrastructure development, improving the city's fiscal health and rebuilding from COVID-19.

Since March 16, 2020, the mayor's office has provided regular updates on the city's COVID-19 cases. As of Thursday, the city has reported 5,321 positive cases, including 21 new cases, and 148 deaths. In addition, more than 12,000 people have been quarantined in the past year.

The fundraiser occurred just hours after Mapp and other officials participated in the ribbon-cutting for The Station at Grant Avenue, a 90-unit, $30 million affordable housing development financed in part by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and offering housing for families and individuals who have household incomes between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income.

The project was built in the Fourth Ward, one of the most densely populated areas in the city. Mapp, who took office in 2014, is running for reelection on a slate with City Councilwoman Stacey Welch.

Richard Wyatt, a Plainfield Board of Education member, announced in November that he too was running for mayor in the June primary election, according to his Facebook page.

April 5 is the filing deadline for Democratic and Republican candidates looking to run in the June 8 primary.

"To get New Jersey's economy humming again, and to build forward from this pandemic, we have to start with our urban spaces – making them safer and more affordable, helping the middle class thrive – and Mayor Mapp understands this as well as anybody. I know…Mayor Mapp has truly carried the stronger and fairer banner for New Jersey," Murphy said.

Booker, formerly mayor of Newark, praised Mapp for the work he has done on roads and sidewalks, and the way he has upgraded facilities across the city. Menendez noted Mapp's work expanding economic opportunities for city residents while also promoting financial literacy, making college more affordable and providing paid sick leave.

Mapp was a city councilman for 12 years and a Union County commissioner for two years, and he currently works as director of finance and a qualified purchasing agent for the city of Orange. He serves on the Local Finance Board for the State of New Jersey, is chairman of the New Jersey Black Mayors Alliance and the central vice president of the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association.

TAP Into Plainfield

Plainfield 2021 Budget Introduced with No Tax Increase
By: Jennifer Popper
March 29th, 2021

The Plainfield City Council unanimously voted to introduce the calendar year 2021 municipal budget. Finance Director Ron West began a brief presentation by saying there is no proposed tax increase, with an $86.5 million budget.

West highlighted accomplishments made during a challenging 2020, including a record tax collection rate of 97.54%, no change in the A1 Moody's rating, zero audit findings, and the sale of city property totaling $1.2 million.

Key priorities, West added, include economic development, funding community health and wellness programs, reducing overtime, reversing the decline in ratables, and restoring modified recreation programs.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp said, "As all of you know, it's been a very challenging year, and the administration, with your support, has done a great deal to make sure that we keep the city afloat, moving forward, and providing services for our residents.

The mayor charged the administration with making sure they "look deep, look hard, and do the absolute best possible" with the budget.

There must be a public hearing, the mayor said, not less than 28 days from the date of the introduction, and it will take place on April 29.

You can download the full budget herepdf.

The second resolution appointed residents to the 2021 Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee to participate in the decision-making process related to the city budget.

The CBAC will be made up of the following citizens, with the council members who nominated them noted:

Walter Harris, by Councilwoman Ashley Davis
Vic Harris, by Councilman Sean McKenna
Robin Bright, by Councilman Charles McRae
Jacqueline Robinson, by Councilwoman Joylette Mills-Ransome
Lillian Williams, by Councilwoman Stacey Welch
Yolanda Smith, by Vice President Barry Goode
Hugh Thompson, by Council President Steve Hockaday

TAP Into Plainfield

Plainfield Breaks Ground at 1000 North Avenue
By: Jennifer Popper
February 25th, 2021

A groundbreaking ceremony for a vacant warehouse project in Plainfield that was dubbed "1000 North Avenue", a redevelopment project next to the Netherwood train station and across the street from Seidler Field, took place Wednesday.

The project, finally becoming realized, came before the Planning Board way back in July 2017. Plans called for a new, five-story mixed-use building with retail, a restaurant and 120 apartments. The restaurant was going to sit on the east side of the building, adjacent to the train station’s parking lot, and developers anticipated interest from commuters.

The building’s design included elevation of the first floor to meet flood zone requirements, as Bernice Paglia reported in August 2017. But by December 2019, the applicant was back before the Planning Board with numerous site plan amendments. The plan still included the same number of apartments, but would become a “podium building” with parking at ground level and residential uses above. The plans no longer included a train-side restaurant or retail.

Fast-forward to today, on hand for the ceremony were Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, Senator Nicholas Scutari and Assemblywoman Linda Carter, in addition to members of the city's administration and cabinet.

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp said, "We do believe that everyone deserves decent, quality housing. And we have been laser focused on providing quality housing to all of the people of the City of Plainfield."

He called this project a demonstration to a commitment to move the city forward, and to make sure Plainfield is recognized and continues to be invited to participate in developer and investor projects. The mayor added that revitalizing the transit area has been a top priority, and noted this project is an example of what is possible when people work together to overcome obstacles.

"As a result, we were able to reimagine transit-oriented development in our flood zone." Mayor Mapp said the project could not have been possible without the support of the governor's office and the approval by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver said the mayor, going back a few years, wanted to do development in the area, but it was in a flood zone. "I don't think you will appreciate the significance of the Department of Environmental Protection working with the governor's office, and working with Mayor Mapp and his team, to make this possible."

She noted this project is in an Opportunity Zone, which are areas that spur development in challenged communities, attract investors and developers, and include tax credits.

The Plainfield Opportunity Zone is one of the top performers in the state, Lt. Gov. Oliver said. "And when we look at the stats, Plainfield's post-designation, the percentage increase in total permitted construction value, is evidence that the zones have helped stimulate new activity here."

Senator Nicholas Scutari and Assemblywoman Linda Carter also provided brief remarks to attendees.

After the speeches, everyone moved across the street to don hard hats and shovels, and officially break ground at 1000 North Avenue.

Insider NJ

Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, Running for Re-Election, Announces Support for New Jersey State Bill to Establish Civilian Complaint Review Boards
By: Insider NJ
March 17th, 2021

Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp today formally announced his support for A4656/S2963, a proposed New Jersey state bill to authorize the creation of local civilian review boards to review police operations and conduct. Mapp, a Black mayor who is running for re-election, declared and discussed his support for the legislation in a testimony for a state legislative hearing held virtually this morning.

“When it comes to the matter of personal liberty and the meting out of justice, every opportunity should be afforded for all sides of the matter to be represented, heard and duly investigated,” said Mayor Mapp during the hearing. “The decision made by the Legislature should not be one based upon personal opinions but on the need to add another layer of transparency to the process.”

Mayor Mapp has long been a leading advocate for police reform and transparency, believing that greater accountability strengthens police-community relations and the fabric of the city. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder last spring, Mapp took immediate action to establish a George Floyd Police Reform Commission in Plainfield, which has since increased community engagement, police training and transparency.

Mayor Mapp announced his re-election campaign for an unprecedented third term earlier this month. If re-elected, Mapp would continue to prioritize police reform and advancing initiatives that result in safer, more compassionate policing—helping to further the city’s drastic decline in crime, by nearly 50 percent, since he took office in 2014. For Mapp, a Black mayor and immigrant from Barbados, the need for law enforcement to treat all residents fairly and without prejudice is a critical, pressing priority.

Insider NJ

Ribbon-Cutting for The Station at Grant Avenue Affordable Housing Development
By: Press Release
March 4, 2021

Ribbon-Cutting for The Station at Grant Avenue Affordable Housing Development

New housing opportunities for New Jersey’s working families in Plainfield, NJ

PLAINFIELD – New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) Executive Director Melanie R. Walter today joined Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, City Council President Steve Hockaday, Economic Development & Policy Director Valerie Jackson, South Second Street Redevelopment, LLC, funding partners and community members for the ribbon-cutting for The Station at Grant Avenue, a new 90-unit, 100% affordable housing development in the City of Plainfield, NJ, financed in part by NJHMFA.

The Station at Grant Avenue is providing high-quality housing for families and individuals who have household incomes between 30% and 60% of the area median income (AMI). This income range translates to $22,260 to $44,520 per year for a single person and between $31,800 and $63,600 for a family of four, which is in line with many New Jersey essential workers, such as EMTs, daycare workers, supermarket staff, home health aides, and teachers.

“The Station at Grant Avenue offers much-needed affordable housing opportunities for New Jersey’s working families,” said Lt. Governor Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner and NJHMFA board chair. “A development such as this increases economic vitality in the neighborhood, which will help strengthen surrounding homes and the community.”

As the city’s first major redevelopment in decades, The Station at Grant Avenue transformed a vacant, blighted lot into new apartments homes affordable to working families, with rents for one-bedroom apartments ranging from $413 to $906; $484 to $1,074 for two-bedroom apartments, and $546 to $1,228 for three-bedroom apartments. The Station at Grant Avenue, located at 738-758 South Second Street in the City of Plainfield is in one of most densely populated sections of the city and where the lowest access to quality housing has been available. The Station at Grant Avenue is establishing a market for further redevelopment.

“Creating new affordable housing opportunities in a neighborhood helps to keep the community vibrant and spur new economic growth,” said Melanie R. Walter, Executive Director, New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

NJHMFA’s 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit award generated $8.4 million in private equity for the project. This, coupled with $15.4 million in permanent and construction financing through the agency and $15.3 million in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery assistance financing through the Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) made the project possible. The FRM program, created following Superstorm Sandy, provides for-profit and nonprofit housing developers an opportunity to secure zero-interest and low-interest financing to develop affordable housing in the nine counties most impacted by the storm, including Plainfield. During the first 90 days of lease up in any project that has received FRM funding, applications submitted by individuals who were displaced by or experienced major storm damage from Sandy will be given priority review.

South Second Street Redevelopment, LLC is a partnership between J.G. Petrucci Company and TD+Partners. J.G. Petrucci has over thirty years of development experience in turnkey and residential design/build projects and manages a portfolio of approximately 3.5 million square feet of space and several hundred acres in three states. TD+Partners is a real estate development firm with over ten years of real estate development experience and participation in over 500,000 square feet of mixed-use development primarily in urban areas.

NEW JERSEY HOUSING AND MORTGAGE FINANCE AGENCY (NJHMFA)

NJHMFA, an affiliate of DCA, is a statewide and national leader in providing and advocating for affordable housing and homeownership. The Agency provides financing to developers to create quality homes and provides mortgage loans and down payment and closing cost assistance to help homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership. For more information about NJHMFA programs, visit njhousing.gov.

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