Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The mayor changed his mind.

Mayoral Aide Anthony Roberts faced off agains five members of City Council last night (Alex Bethea and Kathy McBride were absent) over the proposed Recreation budget for the coming fiscal year.

According to David Foster's reporting in the Trentonian, when the topic of Heritage Days came up, Roberts defended the Mayor's last minute decision to break a previous agreement to cancel the event this year.

"He changed his mind," Roberts said laughing.
That is supposed to be a good enough reason to spend $40,000 on a poorly planned, poorly executed and (if the last two years are an example) poorly attended festival?

Any experienced event planner will tell you that is not the way to produce a meaningful, rewarding festival.

If you measure success by the fact that you actually manage to mount an event, then this kind of half-assed approach is probably good enough.

Even though Anthony Roberts has stated otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be any real marketing of the event going unless you want to count the two images posted to the front page of the city of Trenton website. Where’s the information on the lineup of performers? Where is the information about how interested groups or vendors might get involved?

We can’t help wonder though, would this be good enough if the $40,000 was coming directly out of the Mayor, or Mr. Roberts’ personal funds? 

Why is it “OK” then, to proceed haphazardly and irresponsibly with the public’s money?

Because the mayor changed his mind.
Not good enough.

The city should be focusing its activities and money on providing the basic services of public safety and a functional infrastructure. If we can’t afford enough staff to make regular garbage collections or mow and maintain our parks, how can we possibly be considering funding festivals and parades?

If the governing body has to fret about the cost of accepting a grant that would help rehire a dozen police officers because it would mean raising taxes, how can we even consider having “end of year” parties or summer concerts?

It is not the purpose of the city to entertain the citizens. It is not for the city to provide activities. 

Yes, fund the pools. Give some money to the various sports leagues, but not their complete operating budget and only under closely monitored agreements.

The rest is just bread and circuses.

It is long past time for the city of Trenton to cut out the frivolous expenses and focus its meager and dwindling financial resources on what really matters.


Anonymous said...

Why didnt the Mayor appear to speak about the budget? Anthony Roberts is a complete and utter disappointment of a puppet along with the Mayor. It is absolutely disrespectful for him to laugh while discussing major business such as the city budget. The city deserves better.

Anonymous said...

Because it IS bread and circuses. These types of expenditures don't make the city better, but they make people like the mayor more, so then they'll support him.

Clearly those that care (us) are pissed off. But we're not supporting him anyway. And in a city of low informed, uneducated, poor, and apathetic voters ~ which means each vote is equal and anyone can shout praise from the back of the room ~ then the little things that help them forget/ignore the real state of affairs in Trenton will stick in their minds and sway their opinion.

That's why his name is plastered on those Learning Centers. That's why his name is on illegal signs for the park. It's all about brand name recognition...