PLAINFIELD, NJ - Tuesday's City Council meeting began by recognizing a Plainfield institution, and led to a resolution being removed from the consent agenda after comment by a resident.
The meeting kicked off with Ann Swain and her family's Swain Galleries being honored "as a contributor, promoter, and treasurer of art" since 1868. The gallery, located at 703 Watchung Ave., is filled with original artwork, and offers expert framing, restoration and art consultation services.
Then, in public comment, Dr. Harold Yood addressed council members, saying, "I hope I'm not wasting your time. I had a bad choice today between coming here or watching the Yankees get wiped out again. I decided I'd come here, mainly because I believe that resolution 330-18 should not be on the consent agenda because of the great magnitude and importance to the city. And I further believe it should be tabled until a real discussion is made about this resolution."
Economic Development's Valerie Jackson, in response, first encouraged the public to attend Planning Board meetings so they can understand the planning processes. Then Jackson spoke on R 330-18, and clarified some of Dr. Yood's timeline concerns and comments.
"For the record, the Council directed the Planning Board on Aug. 13 to do an area 'in need of' study, and if warranted, a redevelopment plan for South Ave. East. On Sept. 20, the Planning Board voted to recommend that Council adopt this as an area in need of redevelopment. On Oct. 4, it was memorialized by the Planning Board. So the vote for the action took place on Sept. 20."
Jackson added, "This is a non-condemnation plan. What that means is that the city will take no action to acquire any properties in the redevelopment area. And that if private property owners elect to sell their property, that's between them and whoever they're dealing with. So there's no action being taken by the city to acquire any properties."
Plainfield City Clerk Abubakar Jalloh directed a statement to Charles McRae, saying, "Council President, also, procedurally, in our rules of order, if a council member or citizen requests an item be removed from our consent agenda, it's removed. So resolutions R 330 and 331 have to be removed from the consent agenda."
The City Council will next meet on Nov. 19 for its combined meeting in municipal court, 325 Watchung Ave., at 7 p.m.