Decisive action is required locally for our people and our town to properly recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. South Plainfield has been hit particularly hard. We require an aggressive and all-inclusive response to ensure the future health of our residents as well as the economic and cultural health of our community. We need our local government planning the next steps right now. We face enormous challenges. From getting our local businesses open again under yet-to-be determined conditions, returning kids to school, having sports and public events under new public health protocols; all while considering that this virus will almost certainly return in some capacity during colder months. Here are the 9 things we should do now. Create A Recovery Blueprint. An all-inclusive master crises management agenda to re-open South Plainfield based on the CDC’s “Opening up America Again” plan. Make sure all municipal departments are starting now to procure the supplies they need for re-opening under social distancing guidelines including signage for mask and distance requirements, plexiglass barriers and spaced markers. Use a modern emergency alert system based on email and text notifications for town residents for the latest verified information to keep us safe and informed. Begin budgetary planning to accommodate a variety of likely downward revenue projections. Create a Covid-19 task force that includes borough officials, municipal department heads, medical professionals, small business and community leaders working together to plan for a likely resurgence of the virus this winter. Interface with county, state and federal agencies by appointing dedicated liaisons to impart information on health, testing, aid, guidelines and support. These liaisons should be members of the task force. Find monies by working with a consultant grant writer for the borough to specifically apply for grants from government agencies and private foundations, including developing a local fundraising strategy to assist with related expenses. Develop safe recreation alternatives, particularly for our kids, who have seen their lives altered dramatically, limiting social, athletic and artistic outlets. We need to generate ideas for recreation that stimulate our community while keeping us safe. Lastly, we need to provide tax relief and stability by waiving all interest and penalties for property taxes through the end of the year. While there is certainly no easy answer, these are concrete actions which will help keep us safe and ensure a smooth transition as we recover and emerge from this crisis. We have been hit hard, but we are South Plainfield and there is nothing we can’t achieve by working together.
Letters to the Editor
How We Can Recover Locally From Coronavirus
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