PLAINFIELD, NJ — Plainfield's City Council honored Second Ward Councilman Cory Storch at Monday's Combined Agenda Session as his 16-year tenure nears its end. He was recognized for his service to the community that began in 2003 under former Mayor Al McWilliams. According to the resolution, Storch has been known for his “calm temperament and rational demeanor,” and he had served as Council President in 2016, as well as designee to the Planning Board.
Storch spoke, saying there is more unity in the city, and for the first time the city, council and state representatives are working together cohesively due to good leadership under Mayor Adrian O. Mapp. Storch added that good succession planning is missing, and the council needs to be prepared for future leaders as others move on to other opportunities. “We need more sustained progress in the city, and the city is moving in the right direction,” he concluded.
Mayor Mapp personally thanked Storch for the enormity of his contribution, and added that he could not have succeeded as a mayor without his support. He said the city is in a much better place as a result of Storch's leadership and service.
Residents Timothy Priano and Nancy Piwowar also conveyed thanks to Storch during the public comment period.
Before votes were passed on Resolution 349-19, Councilwoman Ashley Davis' statement on the history of the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of enslaved people from West Africa drew applause.
Davis noted that the majority of the city’s leadership now looks like people that were not considered human.
She continued, “It is important that we honor our ancestors’ legacy. It is important that when we show up we are ready to do the work of the people who brought us here, through their votes and their voices. Our presence on the council is about service to our constituents and our community. Everyone on this governing body has the right to ask questions on behalf of the constituents they serve in order to provide them with the quality leadership they deserve."
A discussion on the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Plainfield and the Plainfield Board of Education, resolution R352-19, ensued with Councilwoman Davis suggesting that it not be open-ended, adding that it should be reviewed periodically so that all players are on the same page, to provide good oversight and transparency.
Mapp defended the agreement stating that a 90-day clause allowed either of the parties to make changes. “It would be a grave mistake to not have the MOU” in place, Mapp said, adding he felt that the relationship would be indefinite.
Parking issues were raised over the proposed pedestrian mall; a letter of agreement from New Jersey Transit indicates preliminary approval to relocate 14 parking spaces to City Parking Lot 6. Oren Dabney, Director of Public Works, noted that the final agreement will come before the council for approval.
The issue of street lighting was also discussed during public comment, with Mapp directing Police Director Lisa Burgess and Dabney to aggressively work with PSE&G to address both missing lights and lights that need to be replaced with LEDs.
The next city council meeting will take place in January 2020; the schedule is yet to be announced.
Read Councilman Storch's resolution below:
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