Many Thanks Ward 2!!!

I recently got a blog spanking, along with some others, by Dan Damon for being tardy with a mass thank you to the voters of ward 2 following the primary election.  It is rare that I agree with Dan but in this instance he is correct.  Although I would argue with him regarding the specific claim of bad manners – manners were an important part of my upbringing with lessons in holding doors open and lighting a ladies cigarette (those were the days).

That being said, I was delayed in posting a public thank you to ward 2 voters that supported me on June 4th.  Your support, kind words during election day and your confidence in me is humbling.  Since election day, I have started to organize the 7 pages of notes that I took while I walked the Ward and spoke to residents.  Some of these are quality of life issues that I was asked to address if elected and others are ideas that voters shared with me regarding city services and other areas that the council has oversight of.  I have also spent time writing thank you notes to individuals whose support and dedication to the campaign helped to make the victory possible.  I want to take the time here to publicly thank my campaign team – John Stewart (Campaign Manager), Jim Spear (Treasurer, Walk Coordinator and Strategist), Mary Burgwinkle and Jeanette Criscione who gave support wherever it was needed, from strategy and literature editing to keeping me focused and helping me to articulate ideas.  Without this team the campaign would have been much more difficult and the results may have been different as well.

For Ward 2 supporters, I thank you again for your confidence in me.  I will be walking around the second ward again over the coming months to talk to residents and hear more of their thoughts about what Plainfield needs to improve for all of its citizens.  While many elected officials dislike this sort of engagement with voters, I enjoy it immensely.  I am also working on a strategy for communicating regularly with residents so they are up to date with current information and are aware of important issues coming before the city council.  More information about this process will be shared as we develop the most efficient way to share information.

I must also thank Cory Storch for his 16 years of dedicated service on the Plainfield City Council – he should be proud of his legacy and service to the community.

I look forward to joining the city council in January and until then I will continue the process of making sure that I have the best interests of the second ward and the city of Plainfield in all of my actions as a councilman.

Guest Blog Post By Mary Burgwinkle

MARY BURGWINKLE – 1785 Sleepy Hollow Lane, Plainfield, NJ 07060

meburgwinkle@comcast.net

Vote Column B, People First Democrats, on June 4th

Dear Neighbors and Friends in Ward 2, District 9:

I am running for the Ward 2, District 9 Female seat on Plainfield Democratic City Committee (“PDCC”). According to state law, the Democratic Party elects its representatives from each voting district at the Primary election in odd calendar years. I am the incumbent Female member from 2-9. This year I am running on Column B (People First Democrats) and not on Column A with the Regular Democratic Organization because:

  • Adrian Mapp, who is PDCC Chair, did not offer me a place on the Column A slate. Chair Mapp chose candidates for PDCC without input from the PDCC at an official meeting. PDCC members should be involved in the selection of candidates for PDCC, City Council and other City and County offices.
  • PDCC Members who did not vote for the Chair’s preferred candidate for Union County Democratic Chair were not offered places on Column A. Many of those citizens are running for PDCC seats on Column B as People First Democrats.
  • It appears to me that Chair Mapp selected some PDCC candidates who work for the City or have other government jobs or appointments. It would likely be difficult for those people to vote or express opinions against him.

I was a strong supporter of Mayor/Chair Mapp when he ran on good government, fiscal responsibility and transparency. However, as a 36-year resident of Plainfield, I care tremendously about the City and my Neighborhood. When I believe that Mayor/Chair Mapp is attempting to grab power or make decisions that are not in our collective best interest, I go to City Council, write to City Council and the local blogs, and speak up at PDCC meetings.

I am disappointed that the current City Council appears to be doing almost anything Mayor/Chair Mapp wants to do, with little questioning from many of them. They recently approved a City budget that apparently included the Mayor and six others going to a mayors’ conference in Hawaii at City expense, as reported in the Star Ledger on 5/18. This use of taxpayer dollars seems ill advised and driven by hubris in a year where there was a budget deficit and where taxes are going up, again.

I am running for the 2-9 PDCC seat with Sean McKenna, who is running uncontested for the Male 2-9 seat. He is also involved in a contested primary for Ward 2 City Council. I strongly support Sean, because I believe that he will support good ideas from the Administration and speak out against bad ideas. I would appreciate your vote in the June 4th Primary, for myself and for Sean.

Thank you.

Mary Burgwinkle

Plainfield Not Politics

At this point it shouldn’t be a secret that I am running for Plainfield City Council – Second Ward. However, I think it is important that I make it clear why I am running and what I believe the role of a City Council member is intended to be.

Plainfield is an amazing city, of course with it challenges, but it is a city that pulls you in. The first time I came to Plainfield to look at houses I was hooked – without a clue why. The city is inviting, the citizens are friendly and outgoing – it reminded me a great deal of the town in Iowa where I grew up.

Since my arrival, after living in Newark for 10 years, I have been involved locally – as a member of the board of directors of the Plainfield YMCA, Planning Board member since 2014, Chairman of the Plainfield Promise Committee and as a volunteer on numerous local campaigns – spending weekends walking throughout the city knocking on doors and talking to residents. As a member of the Plainfield Vision 2025 committee I participated in 13 public roundtables to hear from the citizens about their vision for the city, an experience that is still one of my favorites.

My reasons for running comes from all of these experiences and from the realization that our elected officials don’t know what their roles are. Municipal government is like a complicated homeowners association – representatives are elected to carry-out the business of the shareholders (Citizens) who have busy lives and depend on others to look out for their best interests – it is really that simple. They are elected to make sure that their Wards are getting the attention they deserve (and pay for) and that citywide programs are well managed and use taxpayer money effectively. They are there to make that potholes get attention, streetlights are working, cops are patrolling and kids are able to participate in a variety of activities to help them grow and stay active. They are there when a storm hits to make sure that the necessary resources are in place to serve the citizens when they need it – the resources that they pay for with their hard earned tax dollars. They are there to ask the tough questions and make sure that citizens are not only informed but also heard.

When elected public servants make decisions based on what is right for them – to get the party ballot position or to achieve higher office then they are letting down the people that elected them. When they don’t ask questions prior to a budget vote that increases the burden on taxpayers, they are letting their citizens down. When a storm hits and they are nowhere to be seen, they are letting their citizens down. When a citizen emails or calls them and they ignore the call or e-mail or simply forward the e-mail without follow-up – they are letting their citizens down.

Here is why I am running for City Council Ward 2:

  • I want open and transparent government – government that works to serve the people that pay their salaries
  • I want to ask the tough questions to make sure that we are spending money wisely on programs that achieve measureable results
  • I want to make sure that the services taxpayers pay for are carried out without added costs – we just sent a great deal of taxpayer money on a street sweeper and I have no idea what it even looks like!
  • I want to work to make sure that our garbage and recycling pick-up is easy for citizens to participate in for the betterment of our environment and that there isn’t added burden on rate payers considering the high cost of service that we already deal with
  • I want to make sure that quality of life issues are taken seriously so that home values increase and people benefit from the single biggest investment they will make in their lives
  • And, I want to make sure that revenue from new development is used to offset the burden that taxpayers have had to shoulder for so many years

My opponent, who is finishing his 16th year on the city council, recently wrote a blog post (Link Here And Again Here) that after 16 years he has come to the realization that property taxes are too high.  I have knocked on doors for many candidates over the years and property taxes have been an issue every single year.  I am glad that Cory has realized this, but dismayed that it took him 16 years and 16 city budget votes (the majority of which raised your taxes) to come to that conclusion.

Our politics are too ego driven, our thinking is too self-centered and our focus on pleasing the wishes of the party machine are a distraction that serves others and hurts Plainfield.

That is why I am running for City Council Ward 2 – I welcome the opportunity to speak to anyone that has questions or suggestions. You can contact me on this blog or at mckenna4council@gmail.com

Vote Column B on June 4th!

Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Last night’s Council Meeting (Agenda Fixing Session) was a display of the tail wagging the dog. The Mayor’s proposal to remove the power of the Council to approve lay-off plans and shift it solely to the cities Executive Branch is yet another example of a City Council that does not only not understand their role, will not take the time to do their due-diligence prior to the council meetings and can’t seem to stand up for themselves long enough to get a clear answer to their questions.

The proposed ordinance MC2019-07 will remove the Council’s “Advise and Consent” power over any proposed lay-off plans by the city. That’s right – a governing body is moving to weaken themselves – a likely unheard of situation. The claim by the Administration and Corporation Counsel is that this is just a housekeeping matter to align the city charter with municipal code. It should be noted that there are very few council sessions with municipal code clean-up being done so it is interesting that this particular topic is in such dire need of a refresh. It is also interesting to note that the current ordinance has been in place since the time the current charter was enacted – so where is the need or urgency to make the change. For those that attended last months council meeting there is a clue – the layoff of the emergency dispatchers that was proposed and not voted on in February (Not because the Council members voted against it, but because no council member was willing to second the motion to vote on the resolution).

The administration would like to outsource the functions of the dispatchers to a private firm – apparently because of an estimated savings of over $2 million over the term of the contract. Without seeing the details of that agreement it is hard to see how outsourcing 5 individuals would save that much money – add to that the administrations habit of performing poor outsourcing projects and it makes that savings even harder to comprehend. That issue aside, it is obvious that the Council’s inability to act on the Mayor’s wishes caused some bad feelings within the group and as a result the Mayor decided to just change the way the process works so that he can get his way.

Outsourcing is not always a bad thing – and can often lead to efficiencies and economies of scale that some corporations or governments struggle to achieve independently for areas that are outside their core competency. But not all outsourcing is smart and poorly outsourced programs can cost more and create issues with performance and service, resulting in having to be brought back in-house at considerable expense.

It is my guess that the Mayor has a budget issue to resolve and is eager to get this outsourcing project in motion for his next budget. I would also guess that he would dig out the prior plan to outsource the planning division – which only failed last time because of public outrage and a council that stood up against the proposal.

All but two council members asked questions last evening and each one of them failed to hold the administration or corporation counsel’s feet to the fire on the answers. They allowed themselves to get spin and conflated information instead of the answer to their questions. The only exception to that was Councilwoman Ashley Davis – who asked several questions and repeated them until she got the answer. She also had the courage to vote against moving this ordinance to next week’s agenda where it will be voted on. Unfortunately, her colleagues still struggle with what their role is as a council member, fail to do the necessary homework prior to the meetings and instead appear to just formulate questions on the fly during the meeting.

With the exception of Ms. Davis, the council demonstrated their utter lack of independence from the Mayor (also their party chair who decides if they can be on the ballot and their chief fundraiser for elections) – so little independence that they will give up authority that has been with the Plainfield City Council for 50 years without demanding any real information or understanding the nuances of the city charter or municipal code.

Approving this ordinance could have very dire and expensive consequences for Plainfield near and long term and the Mayor’s insistence that the Council would still have to approve any contracts for outsourcing projects is another sad topic – this Council has never asked pointed questions about any contract let alone denying one or any of the requisite expenditures that go along with them.

Power Grab Ordinance By Mayor – Guest Blog Post By Mary Burgwinkle

March 3, 2019

To: City Council

From: Mary Burgwinkle

Re: Is Proposed Ordinance just a Power Grab by Mayor?

Dear City Council:

Power Grab with Faulty Rationale?

The proposed Ordinance that you will consider on 3/4/2019, amending Municipal Code section 11:12-2 on layoffs, will cut the City Council out of the process of designating the job classifications for layoffs and will give the Mayor sole responsibility for the decision. This sounds to me like a power grab on the part of the Mayor.

Under the current ordinance (See sections 11:12-1 and 12-2 at the bottom of this letter), the Council designates the job classifications or classifications for required reductions, in consultation with the Mayor. The proposed Ordinance would have us believe that only the Council is responsible, when the ordinance provides that they should do this in consultation with the Mayor.

The proposed Ordinance also claims that this change will better align that provision of the Municipal Code and the Charter regarding appointment and removal of employees. I disagree.

The Charter does not give unfettered responsibility to the Mayor (see charter sections 3.4 and 3.5 at the bottom of this letter.) Charter section 3.5 provides “The mayor shall appoint and remove officers and employees as authorized by the charter or the administrative code; and shall, with advice and consent of council, make all appointments for which no other provision is made by or pursuant to the charter.” In this case, it appears that the administrative code authorizes Council to make this decision in consultation with the Mayor, and the charter in no way indicates that the Mayor must make every appointment or layoff decision.

In my opinion, there is no reason to amend section 11:12-2, unless there is a very good explanation for doing it that I have not heard.

What is the Mayor’s Problem with Civil Service?

The Mayor appears to have issues with Civil Service, in my opinion. This summer he added jobs to the charter with no notice or approval from anyone. That seemed to me to be a blatant attempt to work around Civil Service, although he claimed otherwise.

If he has such issues, he should deal with them with the gravity that the City took when it first adopted Civil Service. From Municipal Code section 11:1-1, we can learn that the state legislature enacted Civil Service and that the Council adopted it after the voters of Plainfield voted in favor of it. Thereafter, the Council declared that the Civil Service law and rules would be the framework for employment in the city government (See section 11:2-4, entitled Declaration of Policy).

If the Mayor and administration think that they need to make dramatic changes to Civil Service in Plainfield, perhaps there should be a referendum of the voters, followed by the appropriate action of Council after that. In the same way that POTUS should go to Congress and negotiate for “border security” or other funding rather than relying on bogus emergencies, the Mayor should live with Civil Service or go to the Council and voters to resolve it correctly. He does not need anymore absolute power.

Suggestions for saving money other than layoffs

I am jumping to the conclusion that if the Mayor is seeking to control layoffs, he is contemplating them to save money. I hope that is not the the case, but if it is, here are a few suggestions to save money.

  1. There are too many cabinet members and others (outside Public Safety and DPW) who are driving city vehicles, to the point that we apparently need a fleet manager. How much does that cost? Do those people pay for gas and insurance? Everyone should drive their own car and put in reimbursement requests for mileage travelled on city business.
  2. How many people travelled on the recent “Walk to Washington” at the city’s expense? Do they have to report to anyone what they did, who they met, what good it did for Plainfield?
  3. How many people went to the League of Municipalities meeting at the city’s expense? Do they report to anyone what they did? Why can’t people drive down for a day?
  4. Has there been a freeze on hiring consultants or anyone else, for that matter?
  5. The United States Conference of Mayors is holding its conference this year in Hawaii. No one should attend, in my opinion. If the Mayor feels that he needs to attend, and does not want to go by himself, he should bring a family member and pay for that person’s air fare, meals and entertainment.
  6. How much did it cost for a heated tent in January, costumes, food, etc. for the January 4 event at City Hall? It is good to celebrate milestones; however, it is 2019 all year and thought should be given to planning the celebrations in better weather and on a very tight budget.

Thank you, it is up to you, Council, whether this ordinance passes and how much the city ultimately spends each year.

Mary Burgwinkle

1785 Sleepy Hollow Lane

 

Charter Sections

3.4 Mayor; general duties.

The mayor shall enforce the charter and ordinances of the city and all general laws applicable thereto. He shall annually report to the council and the public on the work of the previous year and on the condition and requirements of the city government and shall from time to time make such recommendations for action by the council as he may deem in the public interest. He shall supervise the departments of the city government and shall require each department to make an annual and such other reports of its work as he may deem desirable. The mayor shall make available to any council member, upon request, any departmental report, official record or document.

3.5 Appointments and removals.

(a)The mayor shall appoint and remove officers and employees as authorized by the charter or administrative code; and shall, with the advice and consent of the council, make all appointments for which no other provision is made by or pursuant to the charter.

(b)The mayor may remove a department head, the business administrator, or corporation counsel, whenever, in his or her discretion, the public interest so requires; and any such removal shall take effect 10 days after the mayor files notice of removal with the city clerk unless prior thereto the council shall at a regular or special meeting disapprove of such removal by resolution adopted by the affirmative vote of 2/3 of the entire membership. In the event of such resolution of disapproval, the affected office shall be restored to his or her office without loss of pay.

ARTICLE 12.  SEPARATION FROM SERVICE AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION.

Sec. 11:12-1. Types of separation.

Classified employees who have acquired permanent employment status, as provided in Section 11:5-6, may be temporarily suspended from the City’s employ by layoff or suspension, or permanently separated by resignation or dismissal, subject at all times to the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Department of the State of New Jersey.

(R.O. 1957, 5:13-1, adopted Dec. 1, 1969)

Sec. 11:12-2. Layoff.

(a)     Whenever there is a lack of work or a lack of funds requiring a reduction in the number of employees in a Department of the City government, the required reductions shall be made in such job classifications or classifications as the Council may designate in consultation with the Mayor.

(b)     As determined by the Appointing Authority, employees shall be laid off in the inverse order of their length of service within each affected job class in a particular Department. All provisional employees shall be laid off before probationary employees, and all probationary employees shall be laid off before any permanent employee. Permanent employees including those on probationary status so affected shall be given a minimum of forty-five (45) days’ notice. Provisional employees so affected shall be given a minimum of two (2) weeks notice or two (2) weeks pay in lieu thereof.

(R.O. 1957, 5:13-2, adopted Dec. 1, 1969)

My Vote Is For Ron Johnson on Nov 6th

Let me first address, for those that care, the reason for my very long lag in posting a blog. I had been very focused on making sure that I had posts written and available for posting in the event that life got in the way – unfortunately life got very in the way recently. For the last 6-7 weeks I have been co-managing Ron Johnson’s campaign for the At-Large City Council seat and as a result I had little time to write any blog posts (don’t worry, I have a list of topics ready to go after the election). Since about the 3rd week in September, we have been spending 2 hours each night and 4-6 hours each weekend day walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors with Ron. While I feel bad that I have not been able to post a blog, I do not regret the diversion as canvassing, as they call it in the political world, is one of my favorite activities.

Tuesday is Election Day and we all have decisions to make. Some voters walk into the voting booth and vote the entire party line in one block. There have been elections where I have done that but they are rare. The reason is, no matter where I have lived the party line has typically asked voters to “VOTE LINE X ALL THE WAY” yet that line of politicians have delivered little to nothing other than keeping themselves and their friends in elected office.

This year is different because there is a special election on the ballot to fill the City Council seat vacated by Rebecca Williams after she was elevated to County Freeholder. The reason this is a special election is that Assemblyman Green’s death (which caused the domino effect of office moving) was after the June primary, which means the election to fill the remaining term is done in the general election.

That being the case, I will be exercising my freedom of choice and voting for Ron Johnson for the At-Large City Council seat in COLUMN C, and here is my reasoning:

  • I served on the Planning Board with Ron and was impressed by his intellect and passion for Plainfield
  • He has proven himself a dedicated public servant to our city, as a board member and treasurer of Neighborhood House, as a member of the Shade Tree Commission and as the founder and president of Downtown Plainfield Alliance, a 501C3 organization working to improve the downtown through beautification efforts.
  • With a campaign period of about 7 weeks (from the filing deadline), Ron has been actively walking in all four wards speaking to residents about himself and his background but also spending time asking about their lives, streets and neighborhoods – taking notes and coming up with solutions for their issues/concerns.
  • Ron knows Plainfield, every side street, brown field and issue that bedevils our Queen City
  • Ron has been involved with all levels of Plainfield for years and based his college degree and professional career on Urban Planning and downtown revitalization because at a young age he wanted to improve our city for the benefit of everyone.

I must say that I became more and more impressed with Ron as the campaign unfolded – he was tireless in his efforts to speak to speak to as many resident as possible.

His opponent, Elton Armady, is a nice young man but he is a product of the party machine, with little interest in knocking on doors and speaking with constituents.   That is not a personal attack, but is instead the plain truth. Mr. Armady works for the county, which in and of itself is fine, but because of that position, he is beholden to other powers so that he does not lose his primary form of employment.

In June of this year, when Rebecca Williams was appointed to fill the vacant County Freeholder seat, Mr. Armady personally expressed his interest to me, in the city council position that Ms. Williams was vacating. I told Mr. Armady that he was free to pursue the position but I had heard a rumor that he did not live in the district that he represented (Ward 4, District 3) as a member of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee (which he was elected to in June 2017). His response was very generic and I did not pry further, only saying that if it is an issue he should clear it up before he continued further down the path. However, Mr. Armady has since been appointed to that position and failed to admit publicly that he does not live in the district that he was elected to represent. In fact, it would appear that he has not resided in that district since around August/September 2017. Since that time there have been many important votes held for county chair, assembly replacement and council replacement. At no time did Mr. Armady state that he no longer lived in the district that he was elected to represent. His most recent campaign literature states that he is an elected representative of the PDCC – and based on his ELEC filings (Showing under signature that his residence is on West 7th Street) prior to the printing of those pieces – it would appear that he places self and party above citizens because his home address is not in the district for which he was elected to serve and is instead in the 4th Ward, 4th District . It should be noted that a PDCC member does not get removed formally – according to state statute, a person that dies or moves from their district is automatically removed from office – unfortunately it requires the individual, in cases other than death, to alert the party to a change of address or at a minimum, stop casting votes after they have moved.

A person that places self above party and citizens is not someone that I personally can support with my vote. Ron Johnson knows Plainfield well, is dedicated to improving the city for all residents and has pursued a degree and professional career based on his desire to improve Plainfield. In addition, his tireless work in a short campaign period has proven further that he is the right man for the job. With that, my vote for the At-Large City council seat on November 6th will be enthusiastically placed for Ron Johnson in Column C.

Let There Be Light?

It was quite common when doing weekend canvassing and knocking on doors to have people mention street lights that were out.  It happens, they have light bulbs that burn out and wires that rot from salt in winter – standard stuff.  However, the largest number of complaints were related to downtown – where people felt that the lack of lighting was a safety issue.  Full disclosure, i am not a huge fan of street lights, but I get their usefulness – I just don’t always notice when they are not working.  That being said, there was one individual (who shall remain nameless) who really enjoyed mentioning the number of street lights that were out downtown – it became one of those “alright already, I got it!” type of conversations.

One night in the middle of September last year, I had a change in my plans and suddenly had a free evening and I decided to go downtown, walk around and make a note of the street lights that were out.  I will admit that I was hoping to find very few issues with non-working lights so I could tell my friend he was being dramatic.  I decided to limit the area to something I could cover in an hour or hour and a half – so it was 5th Street to Front and Church to Grove.  I parked at City Hall and took my pad and off I went – scouting for lights that were out and writing down their pole numbers.

After a little more than an hour, I had 41 PSE&G Street lights and 18 City Lights (some encompassing all four corners of an intersection).  A PSE&G Street light is any of the standard lights on the metal or wood poles – like those on residential streets.  A City Light, would be any of the lights in city parking lots as well as the ornamental, decorative lights that are installed in the business districts downtown and on South Avenue.

For those that aren’t aware, PSE&G maintains the street lights.  They don’t check them, they just repair them when reported (which can be done online on the PSE&G webpage).  The city pays for the power usage so it is the city’s responsibility to notify PSE&G when repairs are needed.  The decorative City Lights are maintained by the City – we own them, we fix them.

After being shocked by the number of lights that were out, I reported them to PSE&G using their online system.  All but 2 of the lights were repaired within 72 hours – the 2 leftovers had more complex issues and took slightly longer – when I checked 10 days later those had been fixed as well.

The City Lights I reported, in person, by handing a typed list to Department of Public Works – they were going to facilitate getting the city lights working again.

This past July, while searching for a document on my computer, I came across a document titled “city light repairs” – I had forgotten that I had done that little project last year and wondered if all the decorative city lights had been fixed.  So I drove downtown to each of the locations – the city had fixed 6 out of 18 or 33%.  So in 72 hours, PSE&G fixed 95% of those reported and in 10 months the city has repaired 33% – and by the way, I saw 4 additional lights that are now not working.  I wrote a draft of this blog and saved it – instead posting some other topics.  Tonight I went downtown and noticed that the lights are still not working (now a full year since the list was provided).

There are several reasons I bring this up.  1)  we have these pretty lights that were paid for and we should use them (plus, these aren’t metered so we are paying PSE&G a fee for them anyway),  2)  the city should be able to coordinate a process to identify non-working lights, get repairs on a schedule and have them working within a set period of time (even a week is tolerable) and 3)  do any of the city officials, elected or otherwise, drive through the city and notice when lights are out and alert DPW?

The new city hall reorganization that the Mayor created, by himself without public input, has the signal group reporting to DPW instead of public safety.  So the management that can’t keep our street lights operating is going to be in charge of repairing the signals at traffic intersections (FYI – the left turn lane red light on Westbound South Ave @ Leland has been out for over a week).  I will add that I am not pointing blame at front line workers as my experience is that these issues stem from bad management and a lack of clear priorities higher up the chain.

If we want to improve our downtown and commercial areas and promote additional investment, we need to start acting like we are capable of supporting additional activity and investment downtown.  If we don’t care about our downtown, why would someone want to invest money in Plainfield?  Two newly completed projects demonstrate this already, the Access Storage facility on South Avenue installed 9 decorative light poles as part of their development approval – ZERO are working 8+ months after installation.  The new Art Lofts development on Gavett and Second Street has 4-5 decorative street lights in front of it – ZERO are working.  So that increases the total non-working lights to approximately 30.

We also need to focus on code enforcement for trash, dirty sidewalks, over coverage of store windows and illegally installed signage – but that is a completely different topic.