Posts Tagged ‘Water Works’

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 »

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 »

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 »

Hope for Trenton – Compromise on the Water Works deal

I wish it didn’t take brinksmanship to force constructive dialogue in Trenton.

Everyone agrees (I hope) that we need a rethink about Trenton’s financial health. Everyone also agrees (I hope) that there is a price at which selling the suburban portions of the Trenton Water Works is a good idea.

And, let there be no doubt that it’s too late to patch this year’s budget. Without drastic action we’re facing catastrophic disaster from a tax hike that will drive away investment, force foreclosures and thereby further reduce city revenue.

My hope is that the administration and petitioners can reach an agreement that commits the city to budgeting, openness and planning reforms that address our structural problems. I also hope that they can reach an agreement to allow the sale to move forward and, as stipulated in the City Council’s resolution, use only $20M of the proceeds to fix budget gaps. The remaining $60M should pay down long term debt principal.

Emotions are running high on both sides, for all of our sakes, let’s hope and pray cool heads prevail.