Posts Tagged ‘NJ’

Shining the light on Budget Prioritization

In normal times, in normal cities, budget prioritization isn’t really a big deal.  Political factions will scream and yell for their interests to be accommodated.  In a complicated dance of political give and take eventually budgets get done.  

For the most part, even if budget items don’t yield their promised results no one really cares because the basics were covered.  The trash still got picked up, schools didn’t close, the police responded to calls and property taxes are still a fraction of the cost of home ownership. Read the rest of this entry »

TWW: Hate to say I told you so

Back during the Water Works debate when times were less turbid, I made one central argument for selling the suburban water works. (see Invest the Trenton Water Works proceeds in the future not the past ,   Valuation tips for voters on the Water Works deal  and  Hope for Trenton – Compromise on the Water Works deal)

My thesis was that the suburban pipes were not strategic for the operation of Trenton as a city and that it would, instead, divert management attention from out critical issues. Read the rest of this entry »

The right kind of Citizen’s Advisory Committee

There’s been a lot of talk lately about citizen’s advisory groups in Trenton politics.  We’re in such a bad state that it seems a good idea to get citizen input on the policies that might revitalize the city. Read the rest of this entry »

The Beer Drinker’s Parable

The following story is often passed along by Republicans who wish their liberal friends could understand economics.  They hope that making a simple parable out of the down-side of progressive taxation they can stop the madness.  As Dr. Kamerschen (the author) and many other economist and philosophers (including my favorite Ayn Rand) have pointed out, there is no stopping the madness of self destructive societal behavior that attempts to feed on the success of others.  That’s certainly one of the factors that’s contributed to Trenton’s mess.  We love the poor and hate the rich.

Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know what to say

Like many Trentonians, I approached the 2010  mayoral run-off with trepidation and knew I had two less than perfect options.  But there’s always hope. 

Since then, I’ve largely taken the summer off from Trenton politics because I was too depressed about the election including the city council contest in which most of my choices lost.  But still there’s hope. Read the rest of this entry »

An employee’s approach to fixing Trenton

by guest writer  – Brian Hill

So I was thinking about what I do for a living, and that I am a municipal public employee… and how I see so much waste everywhere. I also really dislike the perception that we are all just lazy bastards. So how do we really change the City of Trenton employee image and while we are at it, how can we change the image of Trenton? Us, how can we do it as well???  I did some research and wrote this up… Read the rest of this entry »

Is Dan serious about being Mayor?

Here’s the thing.  I don’t want to have to be involved in local politics at all.

However, I live in Trenton and own enough property so that high taxes and declining value could be a substantial economic blow.  I am not alone in this precarious situation.  Every home and building owner in Trenton is at risk as our city’s budget comes closer to falling into the financial abyss. Read the rest of this entry »

Valuation tips for voters on the Water Works deal

Now that the Petitioners have won their court case, the voters may need to decide on whether to do the Water Deal.  This is a complicated decision and presumably will be on the ballot this December.  In the meantime, the city will have to pass along at least an $.80 / $100 tax hike.  That’s assuming there’s not another tax hike on top of that to make up for money the State is taking away. Read the rest of this entry »

The State created this mess and needs to fix it

The elephant in the room when it comes to revitalization is schools.  Everyone knows it but most are hesitant to talk about the real underlying problem. Read the rest of this entry »

Possible Problems with City’s Budget Data

I should point out the central fact that is in dispute in the Mayor’s speech on March 30th.

Mayor Palmer claims that the State should be paying us $155M if they were taxed at our rate (~let’s say 3% effective). That would equate to a valuation of state property of roughly $4.5B. Read the rest of this entry »