Tuesday, June 21, 2016

PAAAS Success Topped Council Agenda

Monday's City Council meeting was full of good stories and information, more than can be covered in one blog post.

Here are some items:

- The U.S. News & World Report recognition of Plainfield Academy for the Arts and Advanced Studies as one of the best high schools in the nation brought together past and present officials including former Schools Superintendent Steve Gallon III and PAAAS Principal Angela Bento; current Superintendent Anna Belin-Pyles; former school board members Martin Cox, Brenda Gilbert, Christian Estevez, Patricia Barksdale; current President Emily Morgan and members Lynn Anderson, John Campbell and Carmencita Pile; past president Wilma Campbell and numerous students to hear a City Council resolution read by Councilwoman Bridget Rivers, also a former school board member. The Class of 2016 had a 100 percent graduation rate and all the graduates are going to college.

Many speakers commented on the school's history and success. The meeting was recorded for broadcast on local cable channels, so all the remarks can be heard when the meeting is on Comcast Channel 96 or Verizon Channel 34.

- Representatives of New Jersey American Water spoke on water quality and said all water delivered to city homes is in full compliance with state and federal standards. The issue of lead in water arises from lead pipes and lead-soldered connections in homes, a spokesman said. The company advises running water for five minutes after it has been standing in pipes overnight to flush out lead. The company website has water quality questions and answers.

- City youth are having "Summer Fun with Plainfield's First Responders" at the Plainfield Public Library. The noon to 1:30 p.m. segments span two weeks that started Monday and include how to deal with bullying, internet bullying, first aid, fire safety, gang awareness and a mock crime scene where participants can learn about investigations. Officer Bernel Harrison and his fellow police, fire and EMS first responders are presenting the program.

In council business, the governing body approved hiring Richard J. Gartz as chief financial officer from July 6, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2017. Liquor licenses for two social clubs, eleven liquor stores and twelve bars, restaurants and night clubs were approved for 2016-17. The council authorized purchase of eight 2017 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles at a cost of $221,184 and renewed the city's subscription to the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system for $120,000.

More to follow tomorrow.



  1. Good morning Ms. Paglia I would like to thank the council member's for reconizing PAAAS it was a great celebration last night.

    The only embarrassing moment was when Superintendent Anna Belin-Pyles stated they PAAAS only had 2 graduation classes. Newsflash Superintendent Pyles THERE WAS 3 GRADUATING CLASSES FROM PAAAS.

    I really hope the new board of education make some serious changes.


  2. ditto to anon 8:53am

  3. Congratulations to PAAAS on such a great achievement! I think it’s wonderful that the city recognized PAAAS achievements publically not once, but twice. Way to go city administration and council. I also think it’s somewhat of an embarrassment that the school district has not formally acknowledge the success and achievements of PAAAS.

  4. I liked the common declaration of positve news and the need for more positive cooperation. I believe that is the key to making Plainfield a great place to be. So maybe those that spew hatefulness and misinformation will get on board. It was refreshing to see the what started as a thought and idea to make an educational choice turn into a rousing success. Let's keep this train going.
    Nancy Jordan

  5. The current superintendent has consistently failed to support PAAAS. The concept by Gallon and the implementation by Dr. Bento is what lead to this achievement. If you speak with anyone involved with PAAAS you will hear the same disappointment with the superintendent. The time for a change in leadership is long overdue. How disgraceful that she would even attend this ceremony. Gallon was very very flawed but he certainly had a vision for the district. She is just clueless.

    1. What a travesty to bring Gallon back into Plainfield after the disgrace and embarrassment he brought to the schools and the City. I find it quite interesting that Dan did not write about that. Whose bright idea was it?

    2. No, not Gallon! Look at ABP's resume.Nothing that qualifies her as a superintendent! The board lacks the backbone to Remo e her! How about a skilled successful experienced educator like Dr Bento???

  6. Hi Bernice,

    I'm glad to see good things happening for my home town. We need to keep moving forward and do things to help our kids. I have suggested to several City Council members and the mayor that we consider working with the county and fund a skate board park for the many kids in our town that are now skateboarding on the street, down town, and at the library. It would be nice to know that they are in a safe place and don't put others in danger by their sporting activities. We could have parks in Cedarbrook Park and Greenbrook Park to cover the whole city. Yes, the city will have to have insurance, but we need a safe haven for these young men and women who are keeping out of trouble and are away from the TV and cell phone getting some fresh air and exercise. There is a petition being passed around by some of the skateboarders and I hope they get a lot of signatures. Thank you for posting this.

  7. Perhaps the superintendent will be more cooperative without the string on her back that was held by a former board president.

  8. To 7:48pm - Remeber, PAAAS was the brainchild of Gallon. You may not like him, but not for him, PAAAS would not exist.

    Does Pyles have credentials for the job she is doing? I don't get strength, leadership and vision vibes from her.