City Business Administrator Dennis Gonzalez was responsible for the leaking of uncertified petitions to various pro-Trenton Water Works sale groups in the weeks leading up to petitions’ invalidation, The Times of Trenton and Trentonian reported Wednesday.
While technically not illegal, the leaking of the petitions could have dire consequences for employees working in City Clerk Juanita Joyner’s office, which is supposed to remain uninvolved and unbiased when it comes to city matters. Yet the clerk allowed petitions to be removed prior to her certification, which would have been completed yesterday, had Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg not ruled them invalid.
There is a 45-day window for an appeal.
Because of the clerk’s office leaks, rogue groups of Trentonians working for the city administration posted electronic copies of the documents on a pro-sale Web site, inviting those who viewed the petitions to contact signers and harass them.
Their actions led to prank calls and various other instances of harassment say petition signers, who complained about the incidents to City Council members Tuesday night.
In other news, professionals with water utility experience say projections offered by the city appear to be faulty and that the post-sale utility will likely run at a deficit in the coming years.
That will mean higher water rates for city taxpayers at a time when recurring budget deficits and the lack of utility surplus mean hefty tax hikes, courtesy of Mayor Doug Palmer and City Council and their decision to sell off most of the utility.
Many have concluded that end result will be the sale of the entire utility to New Jersey American Water Co., the company currently purchasing the utility’s outlying suburban system and 60 percent of the utility’s revenue.