BY TRACEY BROWN
Adrian Mapp’s time as mayor has been one of sound bites, photo ops, and broken promises.
His so-called development has been only residential rentals. Long after those residents leave, folks already here in Plainfield will continue to pick up the tax burden left by developers, many of whom are big Mapp donors. We need commercial and mixed use development to justify these tax incentives. Mixed use projects provide an opportunity for all residents to benefit from new construction – not only through jobs but through businesses and other spaces that they can frequent.
The mayor knows where the money is though. That’s why he and his council recently gutted Plainfield’s strong pay to play legislation. The money will flow in to his coffers, but at what cost to residents?
I can even recall the cronyism during his tenure – like his gross over-payment to a politically affiliated demolition company. He’s worsened a lot of problems in town.
He and his council have great campaign contributions to show for their troubles, but I’m wondering who is standing up for the residents of his city. People need change they can trust, that’s why I’m in this race.
Considering the challenges currently facing our school district, it’s important to consider the economic impact of these PILOTS the mayor is advocating for. The mayor’s BOE team is currently facing an $8 million budget shortfall and we are talking about giving PILOTS to developers without mixed use, job creation or most importantly consideration for the adverse impact on our school district. Our schools are bursting at the seams. When PILOTS are granted (and often renewed) who pays for our schools? This is not how we invest in our young people.
So much of Mapp’s development is residential but this doesn’t grow the city’s economy – especially with the aforementioned tax cuts to schools. Last night another financial agreement was modified with a developer to the tune of $240,000. If so many developers are banging down our doors to come into the city then why are we holding them to such a low standard especially they are being given the land for little or nothing?
The Rev. Pastor Tracey Brown is a candidate for mayor in Plainfield.