I do not consider myself to be a hard person to
deal with, actually I am told by close friends that I let too much slide. Well I have been pushed to the edge and now I
must make a situation public.
On Saturday April 4, 2015 the Kiwanis Club of
Trenton was leading the efforts to have a public Egg Hunt open to all children
between 3-10 years of age.
As a friend of the Kiwanis, I was asked to
assist with the return of this Annual event in a new location as the club
looked for a fresh start with the new Trenton Administration. I graciously accepted and began doing what I
do, connect partners.
South Ward Councilman George Muschal was
contacted and thought the idea was a good one, he then initiated the permitting
process. I began to share the event via
social media networks to eliminate the cost of printing flyer's and the
potential of more trash.
The amount of people listed on the permit had to be adjusted before the permit was paid for and issued.
Yes a fee is charged if you want to have an event in a public
space/park even if it's a non-profit serving the children of the City.
The permit dated 3/23/15 and received 3/27/15 by FPNEBA is signed by the appropriate person and with a note “AREA MUST
As I was planning on visiting the park on Tuesday 3/31/15 to observe the cleanup efforts that were to have taken place on Monday 3/30/15 I received a phone call from a
friend who asked if the City Of Trenton “Tree Giveway” was part of the Egg
Hunt. I had no knowledge of this event
and only saw it in the newspaper after it was brought to my attention.
The “Tree Giveaway” is scheduled for the same
date, time and location as the Egg Hunt.
Immediately questions came to mind as to why the city would schedule an
At that time I thought I should contact Councilman Muschal. While heading to his office I went to survey
the park regarding its cleanliness for the Egg Hunt. The park was in very poor condition with
downed limbs, overflowing trash receptacles, litter and debris including signs
of tobacco, alcohol and drug use evident.
I spoke to Mr. Muschal about my concerns. He stated he had no idea about the tree giveaway and suggested I chat with someone at City Hall.
I proceeded to City Hall to inquire about the tree giveaway and became more frustrated as I was told by my contact that they had no information about it.
After several visits to the park, dozens of images captured and even more emails and texts messages read and distributed it appears that some department is going to make this right.
I was told overtime was authorized for people to work late on Thursday, after 4pm until dark, potentially come in on Friday - Good Friday Holiday and even Saturday morning before the Egg Hunt also a holiday!
I'm my opinion we have major issues with the protocol and procedures for getting an event like this done in the Capital City of New Jersey. If the Founding President of a neighborhood civic association, Creator and Host of a privately syndicated radio and television program with an audience in over 70 countries, the South Ward Councilman, a local private University social club, a city high school Science Club and a international organization with over 100 years of service in Trenton has to jump through this many hoops to get something done that should be on the regular rotation of maintenance then I wonder about more complex issues and items.
It appears the event will go on as planned but several questions remain like;
After a meeting with high ranking officials where we agreed about the lack of communication between the administration and the residents why did this happen?
Why is the city piggybacking on another event?
Why was an organization seeking to restart a relationship with the new administration being charged for a permit when the city was planning it's own event for that day and time?
Why is OT-overtime being offered when it has been documented that workers where not functioning appropriately during regular business hours?
Why did it take several days and multiple conversations to get this accomplished?
And the list could go on.
I am often confronted by people who say Trenton is a piece of "shit", the people and leadership etc. you need to get out of there asap and take your efforts where they would be appreciated.
Recently several people within Trenton have told me "nobody knows you," "you need to be more visible," "we don't have any money," "we don't have any workers," "the equipment is broken," "it's not my job," "they are going to steal your ideas and not give you credit, " and a lot more.
This current issue is just a SMALL bump that will make me stronger and more aggressive. My efforts and the efforts of anyone partnering with Trenton 365 will not stop.
These issues will only make us stronger and provide more resources as the grass roots movement takes over. Have a look at the images they were taken between 3/31/15 and 4/2/15.
Purposely no names were mentioned because this is not a individual issue it is systemic and like a disease it needs to be eradicated or it leads to death. I am not willing to let Trenton die on my watch!
I held off on posting this until after the event to give the proper departments the opportunity to correct this problem. Well the Kiwanis Club of Trenton "Great Egg Hunt 2015" was a success with a large turnout including dozens of families, participating children from 3-11 years of age, the Trenton Fire Department, Trenton Police Department, "Boomer" the Trenton Thunder Mascot, the Trenton Science Club, Rider University Circle K Club, Jesse Elliott and his Band and of course the Easter Bunny, South Ward Councilman George Muschal and At-Large Councilwoman Phyllis Holly-Ward.
Although the event was a success in the organizers eyes we still have questions regarding the policies, procedures and the protocol regarding our experience with this event.
In short the park is poorly maintained, the procedures for the maintenance is below average at best.
SHAME ON YOU whomever is responsible!