Friday, December 17, 2010

Scratch this one off the list

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.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It just doesn't seem to faze him

Well there has been no slow down of missteps and misdeeds by the Tony Mack administration, as we’ve entered the holiday season.

The capital city’s feckless leader has not managed to stay out of headlines or escape notice of the bloggers since the Thanksgiving break.

Over that long holiday weekend, an article appeared in the Times reporting of citizen annoyance at the overuse of the city’s ability to place robo-calls on a near daily basis for no good reason.

Blogger Kevin Moriarty posted about the lack of information on how the city was going to deal with the $12,000,000 gap in funding between the $39 million requested and the $27 million pledged by the state. Remember, earlier in the month the Mayor said he’d found a way to eliminate many of the planned layoffs with or without state aid? Show us the math.

It was announced that an informational meeting on how the process for recalling an elected official works in New Jersey. Some assumed this would be a blueprint for a Mayoral recall.

Then came reports of personnel and organizational shuffles at city hall. The mayor has yet to name his “permanent” department directors and city council hasn’t pushed him on it, even though the interim directors have been serving for longer than the statutory 90 days.

Along with this was the rumored appointment of campaign svengali Dan Toto to replace the hastily departed Andrew McCrosson as Business Administrator. No sooner was that squelched, then we hear that Toto has been appointed “on an interim” basis but will be “paid immediately” to work part-time as the coordinator of the city YouthStat program.

This raised eyebrows and questions about the legality and propriety of the appointment. Looks like another challenge to Council’s powers by the loose cannon mayor.

Following close on the heels of that announcement was the disclosure that the Administration was now going to the various unions and asking for salary givebacks of 10% plus furlough days. This is the same Administration that had avoided some layoffs by demoting and cutting the pay of employees earlier in the month.

However, perhaps the biggest story to hit to date is the arrest of the Mayor’s half-brother, Stanley “Muscles” Davis for a scheme involving use of city time and materials to do plumbing jobs and pocketing the cash. Reports of the raid on the Trenton Water Works offices on Cortland Street were all over the Times, the Trentonian and TV stations starting Monday afternoon. The latest being today’s story of how Stanley “Muscles” Davis perpetually threatened and intimidated his co-workers at the TWW.

Through it all, Mayor Mack remains quiet, happy and wishing everyone a Happy Pearl Harbor Day!”

Do you think he knows how bad things have gotten?