Applied for the FEMA grant aptly named SAFER to rehire the 61 firefighters slated for lay off. If awarded the grant funds could be in excess of 13.7 million dollars.Mayor Tony Mack admitted to city council last night that the city may be laying off 61 firefighters after all.
Seems the grant application touted as one of the Mayor's highlights of his first 100 days in office is not such a bright spot after all.
The laughable list of "accomplishments" published in a poorly written release was really more of description of everyday activities of a small city mayor. It incorporated activities planned and executed by non-profit support groups for city institutions such as the William Trent House and the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie.
Mayor Mack touted the SAFER grant application again in his slightly bizarre November 4 press conference vowing that:
Enough is enough; today I am announcing that we will not lay-off any public safety employees, that means very clearly, that no police officers or firefighters will be affected by the lay-off plan.Mack went on to offer fuzzy logic and questionable math as an explanation for how he would avert laying off approximately 1/3 of the police force, the firefighters and substantial numbers of civilian city employees. At this time he repeated his vow that the "libraries will remain open." They have not...only the main library remains staffed and open.
He even went as far as to assert that he could accomplish these reduced layoffs with no help from the state...a remark that Governor Chris Christie rebuked the very next day at a public meeting in Trenton. With Mack present at the event in the Boys and Girls Club on Centre Street, Governor Christie explained that whatever state aid the city got was for public safety personnel.
Mack hasn't listened and apparently won't listen to anyone giving advice or news he doesn't want to hear. And the city of Trenton is sliding deeper into debt and despair because of his stubborn ignorance.