Dear Honorable Mayor Jackson,
January 26, 2018
With a climate of uncertainty, fear, and mistrust, citizens are doubtful about how our city is
being governed and managed. The recent crisis at the Trenton Water Works (TWW) and
the subsequent mismanagement of them, as you no doubt know, have caused public health fears, and
mistrust among Trenton residents as to your administration’s ability to efficiently manage this,
and other pressing City issues. This letter is an attempt to bring clarity to the
public pronouncements made by you in your official press statement and the email addressed to me by
your Chief of Staff both dated January 18, 2018.
During the monthly NAACP Trenton Branch meeting members found the following to be
1). Paragraph 1 – “First let me be clear, TWW has operated according to state and federal
standards, supplying water to its customers that either meets or exceeds federal
standards.” There have been temporary operational issues, but the water quality and the public’s
health was never in danger, and we addressed each issue as we normally do, expeditiously,
professionally, in concert with our high-quality contract consultants, and with the engagement of
the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) every step of the way.”
2). Paragraph 2 – “For many months now, my administration has been communicating, holding meetings
and advising principals including outgoing Commissioner Bob Martin and his staff at the NJDEP
since the agency shared its concerns with us on the need to correct staffing and other issues at
3). Paragraph 3 – “we are contracting with a water management company with the
expertise and know-how to run the water filtration plant. This expertise will be available to us
4). Paragraph 5 – “we will continue to advise and accept input from the NJDEP, a
regulatory body of Trenton Water Works, about our comprehensive effort to modernize Trenton Water
Works operations for our current base of customers and for future generations.
In regards to paragraph 1, your statement implies that the State has signed off on the quality of
water we are drinking. If that is a fact, we would like to have a copy of that letter, and also to
have it reprinted in both Trenton papers, as well as the African American and
Hispanic newspapers in Spanish and English.
In regards to paragraph 2, you indicated that the city has been working for many months with Former
Commissioner Martin, his staff, and “advising principals” on correcting staff and other issues.
Please direct your Chief of Staff to provide us with your staffing updates and changes within the
TWW to improve water quality and customer service.
Paragraph 3, implies that what was stated in paragraph 1 may be flawed. Paragraph 1 indicates that
the TWW is working with “high-quality” contract consultants to address temporary
operational issues and that NJDEP was engaged every step of the way. Paragraph 3 indicates that the
city will be contracting a water management company with expertise and the know-how to run the
filtration plant. The expertise will be available immediately. Clarity is certainly needed here:
please provide a detailed explanation of the “high-quality” contract consultants and what their
function is/was as it relates to water services for the customers of TWW. In addition, please
provide a detailed explanation as to what the expert water management company will provide that is
inclusive of or different than what the TWW employees or high-quality contract
consultants aren’t, can’t, won’t or don’t know how to do.
Paragraph 5, “the city will continue to advise and accept input from the NJDEP, a regulatory body
of TWW about our comprehensive effort to modernize TWW.” Commissioner Martin stated in a news
release, that TWW had acquired many violations over the nearly 4 years your
administration has been at the helm of the city, and if these issues are not addressed fines will
be imposed upon the city. Please provide under OPRA a chronological report of those violations and
the remedies taken to fix said violations. If violations have not been corrected,
please provide the reason why they haven’t been corrected and if the violation is pending
correction or if the correction is no longer, and remains logged as a violation why?
Also, what is your projected total cost to modernize TWW, timeline from start to finish, funding
source, and projected increase in property and other local taxes, expected source of Federal and
In conclusion, please understand that most long term Trenton residents understand that
the structural, financial and political problems of the TWW, date back at least three
Administrations. And they have persisted, in PART, because of a lack of positive
communication, and Team planning between Trenton, surrounding municipalities, as well as most
State, County and local elected and appointed officials. This lack of mutually beneficial
leadership must stop, because all concerned are harmed. The NAACP Trenton Branch, as well as NJSC
NAACP stands willing to meet with you personally as soon as possible to finally address and resolve
the problems of TWW that can be traced back at least 30 years.
I thank you in advance for your quick reply to pressing issue.
Yours in Advocacy for Civil Rights,
Jonette C. Smart President
Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa
Listen to this video and then read Gaddafi’s Green Book and decide for yourself if he was a mad man as he has been portrayed by Obama et el. The man was killed and his country ruined along with the dream of a unified Africa.
In a damning piece for Black Ballad, its editor, Tobi Oredein, described how this series of Strictly had once again seen flawed and damaging stereotypes foisted on a black reality TV contestant. “The ‘problem’ the public has with Alexandra Burke exposes the hypocrisy and racism that still has tight grip around the neck of the British nation,” she said.
Oredein said the treatment of Burke was indicative of how some members of the British public remained uncomfortable with a black woman outperforming the white contestants. “Alexandra is a self-assured black woman who is infiltrating a world of entertainment that is seen as an extremely white space,” she added.
“To the British public, how can this black woman be better than her white counterparts, show emotion and be beautiful?”
If you do, what he said at his 3rd State of the City address Wednesday evening left you breathless.
If you don’t trust him you probably wonder what he’s been smoking.
I think the truth of our mayor lays somewhere in between. It rests with a people who hopes his plans and works will finally lead us down a glory path without his selling our souls and the city to the devil.
He said Trenton had attracted $634 million in investments during his three years. I wondered who did those thousands of jobs go to. You figure if you’re paying $50,000 a year you can hire about 12,000 people with that kind of money. Trenton wouldn’t have an employment issue if that had happened.
He spoke about Starbucks opening next month and the jobs that would bring. I’m interested in the faces who make up those position when it comes.
He said, “On September 21, we celebrated the grand opening and ribbon-cutting of Maestro Technologies, a big data technology company that is bringing approximately 200 jobs.” Are they bringing 200 people in or are they hiring 200 people from Trenton. You know that answer.
He says “I am fully committed to the residents of Trenton.” I hope that is true I want to believe it is true. I don’t know if I do though.
He has left in place a Police Director who has said some of our residents are ‘Hood Rats”. The relationship between us and the police has never been good and may never be good. For it to be as good as possible takes leadership who at the least respects those under him. When the top man demeans any of those he is there to serve trust cannot be established. Mayor Jackson doesn’t accept this.
He said, “I’m very proud of our police force, and Police Director Ernest Parrey, Jr., who has weathered a politically motivated storm for his terrible choice of words. We’ve talked about it privately at length and the behavior will not happen again. Our community supports Director Parrey because he’s effective, accessible, communicative and deferential.”
It doesn’t matter if he says it again, we now know its what’s in his heart. And holding his tongue is not going to change what is in his heart. George Wallace stopped calling Black people ‘n****r’ but most of us know he never changed his heart. The only motivation behind our concerns are Parrey’s words and deeds.
Unlike the mayor very few of us believe what Parrey thinks has changed because he’s holding his tongue. To relate to all the people most effectively there must be new leadership in the police department.
The mayor said, ‘Our city is on the global map again, a place where ideas can translate into opportunities for everyone who wants them. . . We’ve worked hard—not just in our leadership, competency and effectiveness, but in the momentum of our city’s transformation.”
For this city to transform, the relationship between the residents and the police must first be dealt with. How do you move forward if you don’t trust your best interest will be upheld by those who are supposed to protect and defend you? You can’t. Why would we believe someone cared about us and our sons who thinks of us a vermin? We don’t. Without trust in a relationship there is no relationship.
For the good of the people Director Parrey must go.
Speaking of the people – the mayor didn’t say much about us. He hasn’t stayed in touch with us and from the sound of it there is no plan to change that. Communications is key to any endeavor. He serves us. How can he be of service to us if he doesn’t talk with us and we don’t talk with him?
What’s up with the West Ward? I’ve heard nothing from anyone especially from our councilman. North Ward? Nothing tonight. With all the money spent in Trenton we should be in a far better place than where we are. It’s like the school system, we spend billions and get so little return on our investment. Mr. Mayor we now expect more for our money, much more. Pay close attention Mr. Mayor. The times they are a changing.
He introduced the new superintendent of schools, Dr. Frederick McDowell. He said, Dr. McDowell would, “lead our district to a new level of excellence and achievement.” If they think we’ve been experiencing excellence they know something we don’t know.
Education and jobs got a very light touch in his speech. The way we see it those are the most critical activities which need to be addressed. As The Nubian News grows we will reach out to the mayor and the superintendent to learn their exact plans.
They want to be leaders, we expect them to do the work of leadership. So far we are not impressed. As they say you don’t have to listen to the words – the proof is always in the pudding.
Overall, though not overwhelmed by the speech, we aren’t dismayed. We stand with him now (though Parrey has to go). But come May, we expect more meat and potatoes on our plates.
The people of Trenton are rising, going to a better level, hopefully Mayor Jackson will lead us there. Regardless, we’re going.
Our children are dying, our mothers and grandmothers are crying, our young men are despairing but not one word on the plan to stop the violence. Come on Man!
China has a plan to lift everyone out of poverty by 2020! 2020! What plan does the so-called richest country (USA) in the world have for eliminating poverty? None that I know of.
Decoding Xi’s report – Poverty relief
China is kicking America’s butt. They have five and ten year plans to do stuff. What plans do we have? USA better get on the ball and stop laying on yesterday. The world is not waiting for us anymore.
Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing on Thursday announced a new joint venture to roll out charging networks for electric vehicles, aimed at attaining a firm foothold in the country’s booming new energy car market.