Kudos to Kevin Moriarty for posting the following on his blog:
Trenton Water Works Petition
After last week’s landmark ruling confirming the right of the people of Trenton to require the pending sale of the suburban assets of the Water Works, the City Clerk’s office yesterday concluded its work certifying the petitions.
The result of this work, which would have been performed a year ago put was put on hold pending the litigation, is that several signatures were excluded from the count. In order to approve the petition for referendum, 300 additional signatures will be required in the next 9 days. Actions to get those additional signatures are getting organized. If you would like to sign the petition, email any of the following people:
There are several other folks involved, but you should be able to get a response from one of these guys.
I will just add one note. The petition being circulated asks for either one of two things. The second is a ballot question asking whether the city Ordinance authorizing the sale, known as Ordinance 09-02, should be repealed.
However, the first item the petition asks is for City Council to itself repeal the Ordinance, making the referendum unnecessary. This Council could save the people of this city a lot of money and energy by just repealing 09-02. But, if they don’t, a clear majority of current Council candidates – including all of the At-Large candidates – are on record as opposing the deal.With all At-Large candidates opposing the deal, that’s three Council votes for repeal. I will be the fourth.
In the meantime, if you haven’t, please reach out to sign the petition, or please sign the petition if you are at one of the many locations this weekend where volunteers will be collecting signatures.
WASHINGTON – (The) Supreme Court of New Jersey overwhelmingly agreed that the people of Trenton should have a say in how public water resources are managed with its 5-1 ruling to allow a referendum regarding the potential sale of a portion of Trenton’s water system to a private company. A local citizen’s group has been engaged in a two-year battle with American Water to allow the citizens of Trenton to exercise their rights to directly participate in the decision to sell off a major component of their publically-owned water system.
“Food & Water Watch applauds the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s validation of the public’s will to have a say in the ways in which their essential water resources are governed and managed. To have denied the referendum would have undermined fundamental principals in state law that guarantee that water resources are managed for the benefit of the public.
“This is a victory for the people of Trenton and a setback for any corporations who may be planning to preempt public participation by shifting the debate from the ballot box to the courtroom.
“We call on the City of Trenton to swiftly resume the referendum process that was halted last year.”
The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled against the City of Trenton and New Jersey American Water Co. and in favor of a group of citizens who challenged the $80 million sales of the Trenton Water Works.
As per West Ward City Council candidate Kevin Moriarty’s blog, the defining statement in the opinion was this:
“Here the citizens are challenging the ‘concept’ of the sale as an unwise one-time budget fix that will ultimately injure the City. The
BPU [NJ Board of Public Utilities] has no interest in that political question. However, if fifteen percent of voters wish to challenge the good sense of the ordinance, they have the right to do so under the Faulkner Act.”