Posts Tagged ‘NJ’

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 »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Trenton’s “off the grid” candidates

We’ve come a long way since 2006 when very few of our candidates had web sites.  In this election cycle most of the 42 candidates for Mayor and City Council have web sites, email addresses and even FaceBook pages.  However there are some stragglers. Read the rest of this entry »

Gov. Christie: Drug Counselor

Our neighbors in NJ have had it with feeding our addiction for state aid so they’re proposing to cut us off cold turkey.  Like any addict, going cold turkey is the painful way to get clean.  Whether or not all aid is cut is a debate, but it seems sure that a painful amount is in jeopardy.

To avoid this we as Trentonians (and forget the current administration for a minute) need to recommend a treatment plan that the state can live with.   Citizens can form this plan and with the backing of enough of the serious candidates for Mayor and Council, Gov. Christie will take our commitment to “budget recovery” seriously.  But first the patient has to want to be healed. Read the rest of this entry »

The “Up” side for Trenton

As the new Citizen’s Budget Committee prepares to form its recommendations to the public and our elected officials, I pondered aloud to my committee, “what limits our pace of revitalization?”

I’ll get to the answer but first I’ll recap the problem and the solution.

Our economic problems are dangerous

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Not My Fault – Leadership in Trenton

The theme for last night’s City Council Special Session on the budget was, “The mess we’re in isn’t my fault”.

The administration officially proposed a budget that raises property taxes by almost 20% which would make Trenton’s rate by far the highest in NJ.

The Mayor spoke first.  Let me summarize. Read the rest of this entry »

The Backlash against “Born and Bred”

Trenton is a boosterish town.  It’s the kind of place where if a visitor said, “My, those buildings look grungy”, his host would say, “Oh no, that’s its patina”.

Ask any Trenton native and they’ll tell you how proud they are of the city, “I’m Trenton Proud”.

What?

We’ve done such a great job running the place that our industry has left town, our education level is among the lowest in the state and we’re on the verge of bankruptcy.  Yea for us! Read the rest of this entry »

The Role of Eminent Domain in the Train Station Revelopment Plan

Economics is all about the choices humans make and in the aggregate human societies (micro economics and macro economics).  Negotiating can be thought of as a specific case of micro economics closely linked to the core concepts of marginal utility and marginal value.  Therefore, Reinvent Trenton is taking this opportunity to explain basic concepts in negotiation and the role of eminent domain in them. Read the rest of this entry »

Taxation as a revitalization tool

A good first step towards Trenton’s revitalization is reinventing its tax system. Restructuring the tax system will take strong leadership, a good ability to communicate and a desire to be a leader in NJ’s efforts to reinvent its urban centers. My hope is that our next mayor can take up the mantle of making this important change. Read the rest of this entry »

An ill-conceived partial State takeover of Trenton

The Trenton Times reported in “A ‘Capital’ idea that may improve Trenton” that a state agency, the Capitol City Redevelopment Corporation (CCRC), is seeking the power to use taxpayer dollars through bonds and fees to become a developer in downtown Trenton.  Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, is pushing this bill through the legislature.

Bill “S-3116” greatly expands the role of CCRC by Read the rest of this entry »