The city is bustling with accomplishments and brand-new events in the new year.
The City of Trenton welcomed the new year with its annual Three Kings Day celebration on the East State Street front steps of City Hall. Embracing kids and their parents is nothing new in our city. And we anticipate that this year will bring about a lot of wonderful things.
I was sworn in to serve as the Mayor of Trenton for a second term at the beginning of January, and with that, I will continue to move our shared vision for Trenton forward. With over 70% of the vote, our administration received a mandate from Trentonians to make significant progress on economic development, public safety, and water quality.
In 2023, there will be many opportunities and challenges, but with the help of the new Councilmembers: Jennifer Williams (North Ward), Teska Frisby (West Ward), Joe Harrison (East Ward), Jenna Kettenburg (South Ward), Jasi Edwards (At-Large), Yazminelly Gonzalez (At-Large), and Crystal Feliciano (At-Large), I am very optimistic that with teamwork, nothing is beyond our reach. In a historic first, six out of the seven members of the Trenton City Council will be women! I'm eager to collaborate with the Trenton City Council to make sure that we move the Capital City forward.
Already, we’ve worked with the Trenton City Council to save Trenton taxpayers an annual $4.3 million by switching from the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program to Aetna; this move resulted in no loss in benefits to Trenton city employees whilst generating significant cost-savings for our residents. We received statewide attention and recognition for this decision; we hope that this incredible collaboration is the new norm.
As the new year begins, it is important to reflect on a new achievement: In 2022, our city’s homicide rate decreased by 45%, which is among the highest reductions in cities of our size nationwide. Through increased intergovernmental collaboration, as evidenced by the Trenton Real Time Crime Center, and intercommunity collaboration as demonstrated by the Trenton Community Street Teams, our streets are becoming safer.
In collaboration with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and with over $1 million in grant funding from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, we will be planting 1,000 trees throughout Trenton’s streets. We look forward to placing trees in Mill Hill Park, Cadwalader Park, and elsewhere in the Capital City. We’re doing our part to sequester carbon, which will improve our air quality and make a significant step forward in doing our part to protect the environment.
Joining members of the Trenton City Council, I celebrated improvements, co-financed by the Trenton Business Improvement Incentive Program, and administered by the City of Trenton’s Department of Housing and Economic Development, to 128 West State Street. Taraun Tice is the eighth grantee to receive funding. The Trenton Business Improvement Incentive offers grants of up to 50% of total project cost, grant to not exceed $20,000, to businesses operating within retail space that are planning to make building improvements, with a minimum project cost of $5,000.
In Trenton, we may not always agree on everything, but we can work together to build a brighter future together. After all we can agree that what Trenton makes, the world takes!
I hope everyone had a great start to their New Year!
Mayor, City of Trenton