Gusciora on Water Works: “Action is Needed. Now.”
Veteran Lawmaker Proposes “Mayors Caucus” and Hire Experts from the Region.
Suggests TWW look to former WW Mayor & Retired DEP Water Quality Mgr., Shing-Fu Hsueh for expertise.
(Trenton, NJ) – Speaking Tuesday Afternoon, Reed Gusciora, Assemblyman (D-Trenton) and Candidate for Mayor of Trenton, renewed his call for the establishment of an on-going process for open and transparent communications between local mayors, as well as state regulators and community stakeholders in order to keep the public up-to-date on issues related to the Trenton Water Works.
The Assemblyman stated that if elected, he would establish a Mayor’s Caucus in order to bring together local officials to discuss the utility on a regular basis. “That will top my list. For too long, communication has been inefficient, and most disturbingly late. By creating an on-going process for Trenton and the surrounding municipalities to communicate effectively and immediately, we would be taking an important step towards addressing the most common issue at Trenton Water Works: lack of communication in times of crisis.”
“Trenton Water Works hasn’t gotten good press in a long time,” said Gusciora. “What’s most concerning about these instances, where residents are being told to boil their water, or that there are higher levels of lead in our water than what is safe for our children, is the lack of communication. The City of Trenton needs to do a far better job of keeping the residents of the communities that our utility services, up-to-date with information about the water quality being provided; information that is critical to their health and well-being.”
Gusciora is hopeful that a Mayor’s Caucus could also help bring light to issues with the utility and collaborate to identify funding sources for creative problem-solving. “Trenton’s Reservoir was ordered to be covered more than a decade ago, after the tragedy on September 11th, to prevent any natural or synthetic contamination. That project is a costly and administratively complex undertaking that could become real with active collaboration within the region, and with our partners in State and County Government.”
“A little-known fact about the Water Works is that due to Trenton’s history as a manufacturing center, the utility has significant excess capacity,” Gusciora further explained. Any water-intensive manufacturing enterprise would do well to come to Trenton, to take advantage of this water resource that is necessary for many production processes.”
“If I am elected, during a transition period I would seek out expertise that can be found right within our region. As an example, Shing Fu-Hsueh, the former Mayor of West Windsor, served with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for more than 30 years as a Water Supply Administrator. He has expressed a keen interest in participating in a plan to assure that Trenton Water Works adopts the best industry practices in service to its customers. There are likely other experts as well that can help steer us towards improving our processes and operations.”
“Trenton Water Works presents challenges to a new Mayor and more importantly, it presents much opportunity for the City of Trenton, and region. We must and strive towards excellence when it comes to our municipal water utility.”