Citizens Band Together to Fix Trenton’s Budget

One member owns a new restaurant downtown.  Another develops real estate, converting old buildings to new residences.  A third works on Wall Street.  Other members by profession include a college professor, a retired state worker, and the director of a non-profit arts organization.

All are among the eleven Trenton residents that have joined “The Committee to Fix Trenton’s Budget”, a new civic organization led by Dan Dodson, who is a management consultant.

“The state and the city are both in a budget crisis, at a time when the existing political leadership in the City is going to completely turn over for the first time in 20 years,” says Dodson, “The new City administration is being ‘thrown to the lions’ so to speak, and no matter who sits in the Mayor’s office and City Council next June, they’re going to need help from the citizens of Trenton.”

The current committee plans to reach out to neighborhood associations and other grass-roots citizens groups to increase membership.   The committee has established 3 key goals:

  1. To define an open budget process for the City’s government.
  2. To establish a rational set of policies to govern the relationship between the City and State government, that will enable the city to develop economically and ultimately reduce its dependence on State funding.
  3. To educate Trenton citizens and politicians about the City’s budget, and to encourage the adoption of budget and taxation policies that will help the City move forward.

The current core-group brings considerable expertise to the task.   “Last week,” says Dodson, “after several weeks of concerted information gathering we were trying to figure out the state’s contribution to the city’s budget.  We realized we still couldn’t figure it out!  If our group with two Harvard MBAs, a private banker and a former investment banker are confused, what chance do our fellow residents have?”  He added, “We’re determined to get to the bottom of this: to extract the information necessary to understand the current crisis, to inform our fellow residents, and to formulate rational policies that will help the City move forward.”

Patricia Stewart, long time Trenton activist, feels that everyone on the committee is working hard to overcome former differences.  “I’m sure a lot of folks on the Committee don’t agree with each other on specific issues.  But it doesn’t seem to matter.  We all believe in Trenton, and we’re all willing to work together, and to share our different skills and experience, to find a common way forward. “

The committee is comprised of renters and owners in the City.  In addition, “We are comprised of Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives.  We’re black and white, male and female, straight and gay” says Dodson, “The diversity of this group is one of its strengths:  if we can reach a consensus on policies and direction, it should be easier for the new administration and Council to adopt them as well.”

The Committee has a website: .  Dodson and the Committee can be reached at:

The Committee to Fix Trenton’s Budget:

Dan Dodson, Chair

Christopher Brashier

Ayesha De Mond

Stephen Doyle

Greg Forester

Michael Goldstein

Barbara Horne

Dennis Kim-Prieto

Pat Stewart

Mark Stradling

Cynthia Vandenberg

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One Response to “Citizens Band Together to Fix Trenton’s Budget”

  • Capital 3:

    Have y’all seen ‘reason saves cleavland’ with Drew Carey from Although extreme, it offers candid critique and solutions for declining cities.

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