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Monday, July 14, 2008

A note of thanks

Trentonians should all send thank-you letters out to the surrounding townships in Mercer County for the way their residents - and those of the rest of the state - are willing to pay upwards of three-quarters of all of our municipal and school budgets every year.

Even better, all of Trenton's public officials that spend all of those suburban and rural tax dollars so liberally, without so much as a hoot from New Jerseyans in the rest of the state, really ought to consider buying all those people some sort of greeting card, or maybe even a token gift during the upoming holiday season.

That's right, all those suburban residents feeling all cozy in their nice, automobile-dependent hamlets are paying a massive chunk of change.

Out of a $196 million municipal budget and a nearly $300 million school budget, Trentonians only pay somewhere around 20 or 25 percent, according to old budget documents.

So all those suburban neighbors and New Jersey residents everywhere else pay the vast majority of the money that keeps the Trenton Fire Department putting out fires, the Trenton Police Department fighting crime, the Trenton public schools teaching its students, and all those other municipal services running.

Perhaps a better way to think about it is that Hopewell Township residents have helped pay the majority of the legal costs in fighting former Police Director Joseph Santiago's asinine legal battle.

Hamilton Township residents, with all of their current budget woes, helped everyone else pay somewhere around 80 percent of the salaries of all those Trenton school administrators that were fixing grades at the Sherman Avenue annex.

Lawrence residents have helped pay the gasoline that all Trenton's city employees use up, with little or no oversight, and residents from both Princeton Township and Princeton Borough have helped Trenton pay the bill for Mayor Douglas H. Palmer's Secret Service protection.

Best of all, all these people living in far-flung places all over the state never express any concern in how their money is used, and allow the problems that fester in Trenton and other urban areas to continue to fester, unwatched, and undisturbed. That's what the people who get to use up all of this "mad money" would call a good deal.

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