September 29, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that he has vetoed City Ordinance 20-51, which would move the City of Trenton’s nonpartisan regular municipal elections from May to November, starting in 2022.
“While I commend City Council’s desire to improve voter participation in the Capital City, we need to take great care before we change the date of our elections, especially considering that this ordinance would extend the current term for our elected officials,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Not only do we need more information concerning potential costs of this move and whether it would actually increase voter turnout, this is ultimately a decision that should be approved by our residents via referendum. If we are truly serious about increasing participation in our electoral system, then we should not deprive Trentonians the opportunity to be heard in this matter.”
On May 5, 2020, Council passed a related initiative (City Ordinance 20-14), which would move the election but left approval to the voters through a referendum. Ordinance 20-51 repealed that measure and moved the election by legislative vote only.
“For the sake of transparency, I believe the issue is too important not to have voter input,” said Mayor Gusciora. “If we do it right, we would have a study commission or an intervening election before we give ourselves six more months in office.”