Without a City Budget, Mayor Forced to Pay Bills by Executive Order

Delayed budget hearings and Council inaction on temporary appropriations would shut down City for Independence Day

July 1, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora issued an executive order last night, making emergency appropriations to avoid a government shutdown in the Capital City heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“We have the funds needed to pay workers, pickup the garbage, and keep our our clinics and parks open,” Mayor Gusciora said. “We have the money. The problem is, Council leadership has chosen not to appropriate it. I am not going to sit by while they shut down the City and deprive residents of services for no good reason.”

Council President Kathy McBride has postponed all departmental hearings for the City budget which was introduced on April 5, 2022. Without a budget, the City requires quarterly temporary emergency appropriations to fund operations.

City Council failed to approve the emergency appropriations at their last meeting on June 16. Absent administrative action, the City would be forced to cease all non-public safety operations at midnight tonight. Appeals from the Administration to the N.J. Department of Community Affairs (DCA) requesting intervention on behalf of residents and business owners were unsuccessful.

“They approve bonds, but won’t pay bond bills. They hire summer workers, but stop their paychecks in July. They want more businesses, but won’t allow them to be licensed,” said Gusciora. “This Council’s leadership continues to be the most destructive force in City government.”

According to the executive order, Gusciora is “authorizing any and all steps necessary to ensure the continued provision of goods and services needed for the health, safety and well-being of Trenton’s citizenry, as well as the financial stability of the City, including payment of Debt Service, for a period not to exceed 30-days or whenever City Council passes temporary emergency appropriations or the budget for Calendar Year 2022, whichever of the three (3) events is sooner; and will further follow the guidance and direction of the DCA with regard to the foregoing directive.”