3/8/17 UPDATE: We have received the following message from the Mayor's office: "The City has rescinded the Complaint and order filed with the Union Superior Court to show cause for permission to sell the Bierstadt paintings."
PLAINFIELD, NJ - Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp attended the City Council's Agenda Fixing Session on Monday night, and spoke about Plainfield Promise, his educational plan of action to help prepare children and young adults for tomorrow.
The funding of the Plainfield Promise program was to include money collected from the potential sale of two Albert Bierstadt paintings. The paintings, "The Landing of Columbus" and "Autumn in the Sierras," were gifted to the City in 1919 by Dr. J. Ackerman Coles.
After the Mayor's Office announced that the City of Plainfield filed a Complaint and Order to Show Cause in Union County Superior Court authorizing the sale of the paintings, the public was swift to respond, often negatively, on local social media sites and more.
In response to the collective feedback, the Mayor, sitting just in front of the painting featuring Columbus, stated that his new directive is to form a seven-person commission that will review all facets of Plainfield Promise, and that commission would deliver recommendations to him within a six month period.
TAPinto Plainfield asked the Mayor's Director of Communications if a decision has been made to rescind the Complaint and Order to Show Cause; she reported that Corporation Counsel would have to be consulted before commenting.
The full speech follows:
Mayor Adrian O. Mapp set to work with commission to review Plainfield Promise
On Monday March 6, 2017 Mayor Adrian O’ Mapp issued the following statement in response to feedback received over the proposed sale of the Bierstadt Paintings.
“It’s been said that Politicians plan for the next election but Statesmen plan for the next generation.
During my time serving the Plainfield public first as a Councilman and over the past three years as Mayor, I have held as my primary focus, a vision of what Plainfield will look like in the years to come. It is no secret that I am passionate about education, our young people and the successive generations that will come after us. For me, it never has, and never will be just about the next election.
With that being said, however, when the people of Plainfield speak, whether or not they agree with my position on a particular issue, I embrace that feedback. I don't pretend to have all the answers, and it is essential that we work together as we continue to build our great City.
In light of feedback, I've received from the Plainfield public I’ve made a decision to form a seven-member commission that will review all aspects of Plainfield Promise and deliver a report with recommendations to me within six months of its establishment.
I listen and take feedback very seriously when given constructively and in a spirit of cooperation, especially when it comes to the wellbeing of Plainfield.
We will take a new look at Plainfield Promise bearing in mind your feedback, especially surrounding the proposed sale of the Bierstadt paintings.
The recommendations made by the Plainfield Promise Advisory Commission (PPAC) will be reviewed by my administration, and we will use them as a basis for determining the next steps. We want to put together a Plainfield Promise which will place the next generation and the next, in a better position than the current one; and a Plainfield Promise which the community will embrace and work with the administration to bring to fruition.
Even as we move ahead with redevelopment projects and infrastructure improvements, we must not, and cannot make any plan that does not include a component for the development of the next generation. It has always been true that children are our future… so what future do we have if we do not work to improve outcomes for our youth here in Plainfield? Part of our focus must always be the next generation.
The upcoming election is important for our City, and we must remember that whoever is elected will have a long-term impact on how the city moves forward. While it is no secret that I would like to continue as your Mayor, I cannot hold the election as my only focus. I would do a disservice to this office if that were my only objective as I serve this great City.
So as we look to find solutions for the next generation, I hope that you see the importance and we can work together to build a Plainfield Promise that will live up to the spirit that gave birth to the idea. We cannot fail our children by focusing on short-term objectives such as an election. The well-being of the next generation must always be the inspiration behind every decision we make.”