Four Months Left, and Eric Jackson's ERA Isn't Looking Good

The news this morning that the City of Trenton will be missing out on a share of New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) revenues being made available for municipalities around the State. The reason we will be missing out on this income sharing, which for other towns in the 15th Legislative District will come to around $3.7 Million?

The City never applied for it.

That’s right.

Never. Applied. For It.

These funds, made possible by the massive gasoline sales tax increase passed by the State Legislature and signed by former Governor Christie two years ago, would have gone toward transportation-related infrastructure. Like street signs and paving. The City sure could use that money, as anyone driving in Trenton for the last couple of weeks can attest. There are potholes the size of Fiats out there. Careful, people.

The opportunity cost of this loss to the City is hard to figure. Since we didn’t apply, it’s hard to know what we would have received. Using rough figures, I calculated the $3.7 Million the rest of the District received, divided that by the 120,000 people who live in the District outside the City, then multiplied by 85,000 Trentonians. Quick and dirty. Based on that, I estimate the City is missing out on around a pro-rated $2.6 Million. Plus or minus.

No wonder the outgoing mayor and his public information officer Michael Huckabee Sanders were not willing to answer Trentonian reporter David Foster’s messages!

Coming as this news is, the week after City Council approved up to $2.068 Million in total expense for two engineering firms hired to provide manpower and consulting services to the struggling Trenton Water Works, this isn’t going to help Eric Jackson’s stats any.

As regular readers of this space (Thank You!) know, I’ve been keeping a running total of the additional costs paid by City Taxpayers for blunders either caused, or overseen, or neglected to catch, for the last 44 (give or take a week) months of the Eric Jackson Administration. I’ve calculated an “Earned Run Average,” comparing this Administration to the last couple of mayors as an inexact, but I hope informative, scorecard.

The last time we looked at updated averages, back in December, I found it difficult to quantify the damage the Jackson Administration had done to the Trenton Water Works. So the 2017 Year-end number was skewed by that choice. Back in July, the last time I gave Jackson a number, his ERA was a distinctly unhealthy 15.38.

With the latest “earned runs” of the Water Works contracts and the missing TTF application, I am sorry to have to tell you that Mr. Jackson’s number has gone further into negative territory. From last July’s 15.38, the last seven months – with the ongoing Water Works problems and now the Transportation Trust Fund screwup, Jackson’s average has ratcheted up again, to a career-ending 17.68.

The most that Jackson can expect at this late date is to coast through the next four months without any more major problems or embarrassments. The same dollar damages of $16.2 Million Dollars spread out over 48 full “innings”/months would drop the average by a full point.

Still pretty horrible, for sure. But finishing out his “game” with four straight error-free months would allow him to at least save some face, and hopefully allow the new Mayor, Administration, and Council to start their terms on the right foot. That would be nice, right?

However, if these next 4 months end up looking anything like the last 44, I’d say that Eric Jackson’s team will likely end up with even more runs scored against them. Which we, as always, will have to pay for.

trenton era 2-19-18

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