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Three Short Takes

One – Posted on Facebook this morning:

From: MayorsOffice <mayorsoffice@trentonnj.org>
Date: Oct 13, 2017, 11:45 AM -0400
To: Eric Jackson <ejackson@trentonnj.org>
Subject: Please be my guest at my third State of the City Address

Dear Friend,

Please be my guest at my third State of the City address on Wednesday, October 25th at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall (319 East State Street). Council Chamber doors will open at 5:15 p.m. Parking is available for my guests in the lot behind City Hall.

It is important that you RSVP your attendance by October 18th to Debbie Smith at (609) 989-3032. Ms. Smith, my executive assistant, will follow up with you in the days ahead to confirm receipt of this invitation.

Together, we will advance Trenton’s transformation and capture the resources that our city needs to accomplish this destiny.

All the best,
Mayor Eric E. Jackson
(609) 989-3032

A)  Regarding, “we will advance Trenton’s transformation and capture the resources”:

capture ["kap-cher"]
verb (used with object), captured, capturing.
1. to take by force or stratagem; take prisoner; seize: “The police captured the burglar.”

If Mayor Jackson needs to “capture” resources for Trenton, that means that these resources do not want to be in Trenton! They will try to evade “capture.”

B) About, ” the resources that our city needs to accomplish this destiny.”

This” destiny? What destiny? There is no antecedent here! He hasn’t talked about any destiny before now, in this release! Therefore, there is no destiny!!

Unless it is “destiny” that these unknown “resources” get “captured” by Jackson. In which case, these resources are probably truly fucked.

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Two - We have a Mayoral race in Trenton! At least, as far as the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) is concerned. After my observations/rants last week that no candidates had filed legally-required reporting with ELEC, the first potential candidate has filed.

elec 10-13-17

Thank you, Paul Perez! Glad to see that someone is taking ELEC obligations seriously. We’ll have to see who else files by the Monday deadline for third quarter reports for 2017…

Now, as you recall reading last week, this filing doesn’t necessarily mean that Mr. Perez is in fact a candidate for Mayor next year. If all he is doing is “testing the waters,” at least he is doing so by complying with state law.

Which is more than Eric Jackson has been doing for the last three years.

But, now that we know that he spends his time trying to “capture” resources for some unspecified “destiny,” perhaps he really is too busy to do so.

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Three - In a piece back in June about the City’s messed-up relationship with the US Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) regarding Trenton’s mis-administration of federal funds for its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investments Partnership (HOME) programs, I posted a screenshot of a HUD document called the “CDBG At-Risk Activities Dashboard” from February 20 of this year.

CDBG At-Risk 1

That Dashboard listed a total of 60 items and deliverables which were seriously overdue (many overdue by years) for completion by the City for submission to HUD. In February, HUD gave Trenton hard deadlines for completion of those tasks. As you can see in the screengrab above, most of the late items were due on August 9.

It’s now October 13. How’d we do?

Well, to answer that, I filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request with the City for any documents to and from HUD in the last several months about the tasks on the Dashboard, as well anything about the City’s current status as a “High-Risk Grantee of federal funds.” (Long story.)

What I received – ALL I received – was an updated Dashboard. Dated September 29, this spreadsheet lists a total of 30 items still overdue to the Feds. Out of the February list of close to 60.

hud 9-29-17

Which means that Trenton – after years of being so late and lax with the administration of federal monies that HUD basically impounded $3.3 Million in funding that we would have received over the next three years in order to recoup bad Trenton spending going back a decade, and after being given what many people would have interpreted as ONE LAST CHANCE to re-build a good relationship with a key Federal agency by hitting all those deadlines  – only delivered half of them on time.

So, do you think Trenton’s glass is half full, or half empty?

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