Government

Meet the Leaders - Margaret Ackerman

Editor’s Note:  This continues the Meet the Leaders profile series in The Alternative Press of South Plainfield.  The objective is to provide our readers the opportunity to hear from South Plainfield’s leaders in government, public safety, commerce and other areas, regarding South Plainfield’s present and future outlook, their background and what they enjoy doing in their private life.  In order to keep the format consistent, The Alternative Press presented each individual with the same five questions. We are publishing their answers unedited.

Meet the Leaders – Margaret Ackerman, Director of Social Services

Background Information:

Sign Up for E-News

I was born in Manhattan, NY and raised in Staten Island. My family moved to South River when I was 16 years old, I graduated from South River High School.

I went to work right after high school and went on to graduate with a business degree from Rutgers University.  I married my high school sweetheart, Bob in 1968. My career before my children were born was in Human Resources.

After my children were born and started school, I became very involved in all their activities. I served as President of the Home School Association at Sacred Heart School as well as a Girl Scout leader for over 12 years.

We have two daughters; Melissa a Physical Therapist married to Michael also a Physical Therapist. Stacey is an Occupational Therapist married to David, a director for a major pharmaceutical company. They have 2 children, Brennan who is 6 and Kevin who is 2.  They are the love of our lives.

What inspired you to pursue a career in Government and Social Services?

In 1982 when our girls were no longer toddlers, Bob and I decided to volunteer in our community. Bob went on the Planning Board and I went on the Welfare Board.  When the position of Welfare Director opened up in 1984, I gladly accepted.  Again back to Rutgers for Social Work certification.

In 1998, Middlesex County Board of Social Services decided to move the welfare operation to New Brunswick.  I was offered a position there, but decided to accept a position in the Tax Assessor’s office. I returned to Rutgers again to work on my Tax Assessor certification. I served as Deputy Tax Assessor until a retirement in the department and I accepted the position of Tax Assessor. I also maintained the Social Services Department during this time, which was a challenge. I retired from full time in the Borough in 2011. 

I maintain the Social Services office in the Senior Citizen building 2 days a week. This is also the location of our town food pantry.

What are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing South Plainfield today?

As South Plainfield grows, the need for Social Services increases.  The food pantry and department run strictly on food and monetary donations.  We assist with emergency placements, emergency prescriptions, and utilities as much as our donations allow.  We refer our clients to other services within the county as well.  We serve over 100 families each Thanksgiving and Christmas.  All this is done through the generosity of our community.

What are the top priorities of your “to do list” as Social Services Director?

So many times we cannot fill all of the needs that come before us, but we do the best with careful control of our donations, we are able to help the least fortunate in our community.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I serve as Co-Coordinator of the South Plainfield Domestic Violence team.  I also enjoy decorating my home and working in the garden.  I love to travel and spend as much time with the family as possible.

Five Words that describe South Plainfield are………

We feel like South Plainfield is home since we have lived here for over 40 years. I would best describe South Plainfield as giving, caring, family oriented and a safe place to live and raise a family.  I t would be hard to move away from all the friends we have made here in South Plainfield.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week: Caitlin Hughes Girls’ Basketball Guard

The South Plainfield Basketball Girls basketball team scored two wins to go over .500 for the first time this past week.  The team first scored a 57-21 win over John F. Kennedy.  South Plainfield then scored a 43-31 win over Colonia on Saturday.  The Tigers won 3 in a row to bring the team’s record to 5-4 for the season.  This happened largely in part to the play of ...

Letters to the Editor

Bail Reform Will Save Money

January 16, 2017

In response to “Local Law Enforcement Weight In on New Jersey’s New Bail Reform Laws”:

The article rightly states that the new law “will help nonviolent, poor people stuck in jail because they cannot afford bail while also stopping dangerous people who can pay their way out.”

A 2013 report found that 40% of individuals in New Jersey jails were there solely ...

Susan Pipolo Named to Castleton University Dean's List

January 19, 2017

CASTLETON, VT - Susan Pipolo of South Plainfield, NJ was recently named to the Castleton University Dean's List for the fall semester of the 2016-17 academic year.

To qualify for this academic honor, the student must maintain full-time status and a semester grade point average of 3.5.

Castleton University is small enough to be a community where every student matters, yet offers more ...

Community Happenings

The South Plainfield Municipal Alliance Will Host a Parent Academy

January 16, 2017

ATTENTION ALL  9th GRADE PARENTS:

 Do you know what your child is doing?  Are you asking the right questions to find out? Join us, and we will help you learn how to talk to your child.

 We will be holding a Parent Academy for all current 9th grade parents.

 When: Thursday, February 2, 2017 7:00 pm

 Where: South Plainfield High School Information ...

South Plainfield Recreation Wrestling Update

January 19, 2017

Central Jersey Update

At the height of the wrestling season, our Central Jersey team continues to dominate the Central Jersey League. They continue to maintain, their reputation as a powerhouse in Central Jersey, despite losing many team members, as they have moved on to the Middle school team. Our team recently defeated Ridge winning 58-39. On January 14th,  the team hosted a quad and ...

Designer Bag Bingo Event on Friday, Jan. 27

January 20, 2017

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School Baseball Parent Association is sponsoring Designer Bag Bingo on Friday, Jan. 27 at the South Plainfield Senior Center located at 90 Maple Avenue.  The ticket price is $30, which includes 12 Bingo Games Sheets (1 Bingo Card for each Game) Tickets are non-refundable.

Bingo Markers MUST be used for all games, they are being sold for ...

Burglary Arrest and Bail Reform Act

On Friday, January 13, 2017 at about 12:30 pm, South Plainfield Police responded to a residence on May Avenue for a reported residential burglary in progress.

Upon arrival, officers located a male on the property of the residence,. Investigation revealed Dawud Ward, 23, of 1135 Hillside Avenue in Plainfield, unlawfully entered the unoccupied home.  Ward was in possession of burglary ...

Community Development Block Grant Public Hearing

A public hearing for the 2017 Community Development Block Grant has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 6:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the South Plainfield Municipal Building, 2480 Plainfield Avenue. The purpose of this hearing is to discuss projects to be considered for inclusion in the 2017 Community Development Block Grant Application. Public input on projects will be ...

News from the Senior Center

2017 Membership is underway -  $10.00 per year

January 18 – Sands Casino

January 23 – 9:45 a.m Medication Safety Program

January 24 – Adult Coloring – 9:30 – 11:30   Stay for Lunch

Members only

February 2017

February 1 – Tropicana  Casino

February 7 – Adult Coloring 9:30 – 11:30  Stay for ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, January 25, 5:30 PM

ALL SEASON SPORTS ACADEMY, South Plainfield

Yoga with Kara Unal

Health & Wellness Sports

Carousel_image_0e42e7737ede7752ce0a_creative-yoga-logo-design

Wed, January 25, 5:30 PM

ALL SEASON SPORTS ACADE7, South Plainfield

YOGA

Health & Wellness Sports

Carousel_image_d0ad2c00eec1abaa40c6_tgif_fridays2017.final

Thu, January 26, 4:00 PM

Piscataway

Fundraiser for SPMS Student Council at TGIF on ...

Carousel_image_d55d5d16a514f53ed097_designer_bag_bingo

Fri, January 27, 6:00 PM

South Plainfield

Designer Bag Bingo Event on Friday, January 27th

Carousel_image_46b64301d61b0e1c4978_meditation_flyer-page-001

Sat, January 28, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Tong-Gong Healing Art of Moving Meditation

Wed, February 1, 5:30 PM

ALL SEASON SPORTS ACADEMY, South Plainfield

Yoga with Kara Unal

Health & Wellness Sports

Columns

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

 

Having just passed the winter solstice, dreams of summer, warm beaches, suntan lotion, and the shussh of the ocean lapping the shore are very much on the minds of beach lovers. It is only five months until Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. If you are looking for a novel to titillate your summer musings, Mary ...

Bookmarks

Time for some news from South Plainfield Library:

We’ll start with next week’s children’s programs, and there are quite a lot of them.  On Saturday, we have the “Saturday Storytime” for all ages at 11AM.  Then, on Sunday, there’s this month’s “Super Sunday Science” program at 3PM.  It’s for children age 8 & over, ...

Press Releases

Crisis Listening Line to Offer Suicide Prevention Training and Volunteering Opportunities

January 21, 2017

WESTFIELD, NJ -- Are you a good listener? Do you want to make a difference in the life of someone in crisis?

Crisis listening line Caring Contact will offer Excellence in Listening training beginning March 20 at the First Baptist Church at 170 Elm Street in Westfield. Classes run for three hours one night a week, plus one full weekend, ending June 12.This award-winning training enables ...