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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Halls of Time

It seems Harold Hall is upset because questions have been asked about his SALARY.
That's operative word here - SALARY. Mr. Hall claims he is a director receiving a salary. He is alledged to have requested overtime pay by submitting handwritten time cards. Blogolanders, those earning a salary - a certain sum of money paid annually - do not, in the real world, request overtime. Those earning an hourly wage, normally, do get overtime. To my knowledge, directors in the City of Trenton receive a salary. I doubt very much if any director punches a time card; if I'm wrong, I'd like to know about it. Another problem for the mayor. Has one of his directors been helping himself to city tax funds? When all of this nonsense started, I truly believed Tony Mack was making mistakes. I hoped, really hoped, I even prayed a bit, that he would learn. Never happened. Right now, I strongly suspect, the mayor knows exactly what he is doing. Blogolanders, we are dealing with, "To the victors belong the spoils."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Governor Christie

Yesterday afternoon my sister called me to ask, "Have you heard?" Naturally I wanted to know what I should have heard; Karen told me Chris Christie had been rushed to a hospital with breathing difficulties. Interesting that it made the news on a New York station. I checked The Trentonian website and read the comments. I read the comments this morning. Talk about mean! I favor free speech, but I also favor a bit of kindness, compassion. I, too, have asthma; my son has several friends who have asthma. Any attack, even a mild one, is not pleasant. The current weather does not help asthmatics. So, folks, keep the snotty comments to yourselves; as to his unpopular actions. It had to come. We have all been living on borrowed money; the loan has been called in. What seems odd is the fact that the governor does have access to excellent medical care, and he still walks around with at least 100 pounds of lard he does not need. Why hasn't some medical type put him on a very strick diet? I'd love to know what that family eats because the picture of Mrs. Christie, wearing shorts, leaving the hospital showed her to be on the porky side. So to all of you who are pissed because the free lunch is over, remember, you were happy to accept generous benefits, COLAs, etc. but never asked where the money was coming from. As a nation, we forgot to save for a, "rainy day." So when budget cuts come along, we feel it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Don't Panic

Good morning, Blogolanders. No doubt you've all read the lead story in both newspapers - The City of Trenton will lay off 108 police officers. I feel the panic already, but my reaction is - "Yeah, so what?" I doubt it will make a difference. Let me explain. Twenty-five years ago when we moved into Trenton, I noticed that groups of teenagers, even young men, would scatter when they saw a patrol car coming. Today, no such reaction. Even the dealers stay put. The patrol car just drives on by. Ever since the nice weather started, there has been an outdoor dice game taking place on Lamberton Street; the patrol cars just cruise on by. Cars block traffic on Lamberton while the driver chats with someone (usually a female), the patrol cars just cruise around the offending vehicle. Very few Trentonians have any fear, respect, concern, whatever about the police as it is. I doubt fewer officers will make any difference. And, here's the best part. Whenever these things are pointed out to police officers attending civic meetings, the answer is usually, "Well, I didn't see it so I can't say." So don't panic. You probably won't notice any difference.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Finally, some relief! I spent the last week hugging my air conditioner which meant it was really HOT since I don't like a.c. Since I did very little physical stuff, I had time to just think. The Kid came by to check on me, and we had some time to talk. As I've written we often disagree, but he said something that set the little grey cells to spinning. I was bitching that I just didn't have the energy to go outside and pick up trash; Nicholas announced that maybe all those Dorito bags, potato chip bags, McDonald's crap, etc., was not a bad thing since it meant someone was sending money. Bt spending at the corner store, someone was able to make money. He feels I should be encouraged. Maybe. But I still think you can buy all that crap and still clean up after yourself. And of course I received the love letter from the mayor. Mayor, when are you going to get someone who can write English? I do suggest you buy a style manual. There are several very good ones floating about. My personal favorite is the University of Chicago manual. There is also the New York Times manual. As to your claim about dusting yourself off and continuing on your journey - yeah, but have you learned anything? Not bloody likely.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Funny Money

Last Thursday, George Dougherty, a former city attorney, spoke at the Trenton Council of Civic Associations. The thrust of his talk was that state government instituted a few schemes for muncipalities but gave no funding. Governments are notorious for doing this be it state or federal. The City of Trenton got stuck with rules regarding the establishment of pay scales as well as tax caps. Yet no one, be it city officials or tax payers stood up and screamed. Everyone just let it happen. That left Trenton in a bind. Trenton began to spend more than it took in; the difference was usually made up by state government. That worked until the state ran out of money. Then Chris Christie took an ax to the state budget. Trenton is now on the verge of hysteria. Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know how else to say it - WE HAVE BEEN LIVING ON A CREDIT CARD AND THE STATEMENT CAME IN THE MAIL!!! The state can't help us anymore. The first thing I would like to see is an ACCURATE inventory of property in Trenton that is tax exempt. The operative word is, "ACCURATE." None of this, "The state owns 50% of the property in Trenton, etc." The city owns a lot of property - like the schools, Cadwalder Park, police stations, empty libraries etc. The county also owns property as does the federal government. Yes, there are a lot of nonprofits here in Treton, but many of them rent office space from private parties who do pay taxes. We seem unable to accept the fact that there is no money; there is little chance of getting any. Let's start with an accurate inventory. Then let's stop bitching about how much Trenton does for the state; we do damn little. I realize this is an unpopular opinion, but I also realize it is impossible to make one dollar cover two dollars in expenses. I'm off to hug my air conditioner.

All in the Family

At the end of a rather crummy week, I had a visit from a cousin who now lives in North Carolina. Carol was driving back from Syosset, Long Island to her home, and she stopped in Trenton. Talk about a shot in the arm!! Carol and I were never close; age kept us apart. She's young enough to be my daughter; when I married she was still in elementary school. Once Carol grew up and married, she and her husband moved in very literary circles. They also moved about the country. About a year ago, we were at a family party and got to talking. We found the age gap disappeared. Carol and I just chatted about random subjects; she likes my house. When she left, I felt so much better. There is nothing like family to make things look better. The best thing is that we do have shared memories. I look forward to further and longer visits.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm Back!

Last week was sort of a bummer but it ended well. It all started, of course, with the incident on Parkside & Oakland when city employees (and supporters of our Honorable Mayor) showed up to harrass people collecting signatures for a recall. The recall folks were on private property with permission. The pro-Tony folks not only violated the civil rights of those seeking signatures, but they also violated the property rights of the owner of the strip mall. Fast forward to Wednesday when the Honorable Mayor popped in to the Old Mill Hill Society meeting at the Mill Hill Saloon. He parks his car on private property and then gets pissed when his car is towed. I have no doubt that if it had been someone else's car, the parking violation would have been overlooked, but here's the Honorable Mayor. He knows that THEY are after him so what does he do? He steps in it AGAIN! If Tony had any brains, he would think to himself, "I have to be super clean; I have to make sure I don't give anyone anything to hit me with." He does just the opposite. Then a fellow blogger passes the mayor and companion in Mill Hill Park and makes a pleasant comment. Rather than smile and keep walking, the companion makes a wise crack; the blogger goes ballistic. Bad move on the blogger's part. Bad move on everyone's part; the Honorable Mayor, after realizing his car was gone, went back into the Mill Hill and demanded of a patron, "Who did YOU call?" Frankly, Blogolanders, the total absence of courtesy, of breeding, if you will, depressed the hell of me. Friday morning, I got a real upper. But more about that later.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Trenton balanced a budget without having to depend on the state? That would be true independence. That's why I'm not upset about the governor's actions; by cutting us off, it may prove our salvation. I was at the, "budget" hearing held by council on Friday afternoon - fascinating. David Rousseau claimed the city would have to raise the tax rate so the state would give us money; it there were no increase, the state would figure we don't need the money so our taxes went up fourteen cents per hundred. George is the only council member who voted no. Nobody on council suggested a meeting with the governor. If Trenton is ever solve its financial problems (and I am beginning to suspect no one really wants them solved), council has to start with good, old fashioned cheese paring. Cutting out things like newspaper delivery, cell phones for council members. Once that's done, then they can get down and dirty. Sadly, the city continues to spend more than it takes in. Always a bad thing.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


In today's Trenton Times there is an editorial criticizing Gov. Christie for his budget cuts. The editorial goes on to explain how these cuts will hurt single mothers, sick children, students. Nothing, however, was said about a senior citizen living on a fixed income who wrote a fat check to the State of New Jersey Department of the Treasury last March. That's me, of course. Yes, the governor could restore these budget cuts; the legislature may even force the issue. BUT how will these programs be paid for? Since the state cannot print money, I assume taxes will be raised throughout the state. Then we can all bitch and moan about the increase in taxes but sleep better because single mothers, sick children, etc., etc. are being helped. Frankly, Blogolanders, I am sick and tired of raising, feeding, entertaining, and even educating other people's children! Ironically, it is only the last hundred years or so that people have looked to the government to solve all their problems. The Irish potato famine is a case in point. London did bloody little to relieve the suffering - oh, a few poor houses were opened and Queen Victoria donated five pounds to Irish relief. (Back then five quid meant more than it does now.) Today, the government would move swiftly to relieve the suffering AND I agree that is right. Has anyone ever noticed that those who pay the most in taxes demand the least in public services? By the way, I do feel a millionaire's surtax might be a good idea; I doubt, however, it will put much into the state coffers. Anyone earning a million dollars a years can figure out a way to earn just $999,999.99


Kevin Moriarty and I served together on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and I always found him to be intelligent, thoughtful, and gentlemanly. Considering what happened yesterday, while Kevin and others were looking for recall signatures, I am disappointed, once again, in the Honorable Mayor Mack. If the, "eff," word were removed from the English language, Rodney Washington would be mute. What is Tony Mack afraid of? The people with the recall petition are exercising their federally guaranteed right to petition their elected officials for a redress of greivances. Screaming, swearing, other anti-social behavior will not stop this movement; if anything, it will inspire those in favor of the recall. And, Blogolanders, there was talk of a recall petition for Douglas Palmer; it got nowhere because it was too close to the end of his fifth term. Doug Palmer was not necessarily my hero, but he was smooth; sadly, Tony Mack is not. The Honorable Mayor just doesn't get it! But back to Mr. Moriarty. I disagree totally with his Friday posting. Cutting the financial cord is probably the best thing that could happen to Trenton; as long as the administration, any adminstration, could cry to the state legislature Trenton has no chance of getting its financial house in order. Yes, the state does occupy several pieces of prime real estate, real estate that the city surrendered. It would be easier if the state were to annouce, "Every year you get ...... dollars as the PILOT." That's what Trenton should be pushing for - a set amount of money each year. I'll be back in a few hours.