Stillman School parking fiasco

Teachers at Stillman School were notified by the Plainfield Parking Bureau, and then by the school’s administration, that meters and 2-hour only parking signs would be installed near the school at an unspecified time in the near future. As Stillman has a larger staff than its twenty or so parking spots, this poses a problem for workers.

Earlier in the month, I had been tipped off by someone about this problem, but hadn’t yet written about it.

So, I was happy when teacher Tania Center came to the mic during Monday’s City Council special meeting to bring it to everyone’s attention.

In an email that was sent out mid January, Principal Mark A. Williams apparently encouraged teachers to start looking for alternative spots farther from the building, reminding them that parking issues will not be an acceptable excuse for lateness. As corroborated by Tania Center on Monday, Williams also encouraged teachers to carpool.

Center argued against this ridiculous suggestion, saying that teachers live in a wide range of places and have far too hectic schedules to be able to do so. She also pointed out that teachers carry too much material to be able to park far from the workplace. Listen to her words for yourself below.

Principal Williams not making an issue out of this injustice himself is problematic, but the real question is why the Parking Bureau would plan to enforce two hour parking at a school in the first place – nonetheless a school that is not on heavily commercial blocks.

After Center’s remarks, Mayor Adrian Mapp made a brief statement (also in the video) just before their adjournment of the public comment session. “We are in the process of scheduling a meeting with the Superintendent and her staff,” said Mr. Mapp. “I can assure you that my administration knows nothing about this and I will get to the bottom of it and make sure the right thing is done.”

By Tuesday afternoon, I was told by City Administrator Rick Smiley that he was still researching the issue and was expecting a staff update later Tuesday. Apparently, going into Friday, Rick Smiley still has no handle on the situation.

I wonder who’s idea this was and will be looking for details on this plan. Fortunately, the Administration seemed to find this news as off-putting as I did and it can only be assumed that this was inherited. Hopefully, they can end this quickly before the City of Plainfield invests any money into meters, signage, or anything else having to do with this project.

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