Assemblywoman Calls on Trenton Mayor to Allow DCA Oversight In Exchange for Much-Needed Funds

Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer) today called on Trenton Mayor Tony Mack to work with state officials to help secure $22 million in transitional aid to ease some of the burdens currently plaguing the Capital City and improve public safety.

In doing so, Watson Coleman sent a letter to Mack urging him to act quickly in reaching an agreement with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) to accept its offer to provide the city of Trenton with $22 million in Transitional Aid.

In order for Trenton to be eligible for the funds, DCA has stipulated that the city must accept state oversight of its hiring choices.

In her letter to Mack today, Watson Coleman stated, “Trenton is in dire need of these Transitional Aid funds in order to mitigate any necessary tax increases on the residents of Trenton, rehire police officers that are essential to help keep the city’s streets and residents safe and move forward in placing the city on better financial ground.

“Governor Christie’s irresponsible and misguided act of eliminating Trenton’s Capital City Aid state budget line item, which I helped secure for many years, has exacerbated this challenge enormously.

“Without question, it is the state’s responsibility to support its capital city in light of the substantial drain the proliferation of government and non-profit organizations place on the city’s ability to adequately accrue property tax revenues.

“While the offer of $22 million is not an adequate substitute for a dedicated Capital City fund that more accurately reflects the property tax burden that Trenton bears, you should consider DCA’s offer for $22 million, including its conditions, as an opportunity to have more partners involved in identifying the professional talent your administration needs to build a stronger future for Trenton.”