It has come to my attention that I should speak more about my background and vision for the city. I want to thank you all for giving me the opportunity to talk about my background and how or why I am the best choice for Trenton in this upcoming election. It is my background that sets me apart from all those seeking the office. I have had the opportunity and experience of working in highly complex and political situations throughout the course of my career. Highly successful at every turn, I was enjoying every minute of that success. You are correct again, when you state that I have been living outside the borders of my Trenton. However, I have always been present and a part of my city. This was unavoidable for me coming from a family of 15 siblings who for the most part remained in the city until about the time of my mother’s passing; lest we count on and add their children, my roots and presence in Trenton real. Throughout the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to come back to the area and served several years as a military officer in Fort Dix NJ, as a Homicide Task Force Commander working side by side with our Local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies while reporting directly to the US Attorney’s office in Newark, NJ. The successful conclusion of my investigations can be found in the archives of the Trentonian and Trenton Times Newspapers. I have kept in contact and always had my city in mind whenever my family and I had discussions regarding “home.”
I had to leave. Trenton in the late 1970’s had nothing to offer me with my limited experience and no money for college. I joined the military and served my country for 20 years. Highlights and accomplishments include my service as an enlisted United States Army Criminal Investigations Command Special Agent, and later as a Chief Warrant Officer Special Agent in Charge. I served our Nation in “Operation Just Cause,” and “Operation Desert Shield/Storm.” During this time, I was part of several Joint Task Forces with Federal Agencies as the lead and always included Local and State agencies. Military installations can grow to the size of many cities in the United States and I served in some of the largest, among them the 101ST Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY. The strategic planning, procurement or acquisition processes, budgeting, accountability, policy development and implementation acumen of a military officer is something that I am very proud of and that has served me well upon retirement.
It was this experience that helped me stand head and shoulders over other applicants in the private sector and later in the federal or public sector where I reached the grade of Senior Executive Service in five years. All which were listed on the page. It is this very experience that I bring to the table, leading people, leading change, the ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations, working with time constraints, understanding the importance of building coalitions, understanding the need to engage key stakeholders, understanding the importance of alignment in strategic planning – makes me the right choice for this city.
Our city is in a state of disrepair, dysfunctional and out of touch with the outside world. This is due to the current situation we find ourselves in. This government will go down as one of the worst governments in the history of the United States. We have a decision making matrix that does not work and does not take into consideration the devastating cascading effects it has on all of us. Business as usual cannot – and will not stand.
The most glaring example of this carelessness is the terrible situation with the High School where we have our children attending class in a building that in any other community would be condemned. Our children suffer while we play political football with their health and education. I am in the process of developing an alternative to having our children attend class at the High School and having it declared condemned as soon as practical. We can allow the State full range of the building and make a decision on tearing it down without the children suffering. Other examples of our new direction are:
1. Idle housing inventories are an absolute no go. Get the housing back on the market through innovative ways that include first time buyers with families and that generate some revenue. Develop an effective satellite parking plan and discuss it with all stakeholders and get better response on our need for area/land usage under the PILOT agreement with the State.
2. Settle the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Police! This will serve to “up” the morale and build trust with a force responsible for our protection. Develop an effective security plan for the city. Pass the SAFE Passage ordinance! Get the USDOJ on the line and find money to support additional officers before we go to the state.
3. Develop a “Teaching in an Urban Environment” program that is based on the Family and includes the new teacher’s awareness training to elevate their awareness of Trenton’s teaching challenges. Our children are hungry, tired, and yes, some abused. They live in terrible conditions, violence all around and yet we want them to achieve in school. I will lead the development of a “Protocol to Normalcy” for our city.
Our city did not get here alone. There were plenty of poor decisions made prior or over the past decade that directly contributed to our current mess. We have these decisions to thank for the Hotel, the TWW fiasco, the Arena, the Waterfront project, a beautiful park with little or no revenue in return to the city, the crime situation in this city, the terrible roads, and much more. We cannot afford to go back to what we just experienced over that time span. We need a new, clear direction from a proven leader who has the reach back capability, credibility, experience and desire to do this job for nothing other than the fact that – I possess the skill sets needed. I am not doing it for the job or salary. I have been there and done that.
We need a leader that can lead a team of highly skilled professionals who can tackle multiple issues at the same time. We need a leader who will represent the entire city. It is time for the people of Trenton to get a break. We have issues with revenue development; a lack of innovation and openness has kept us in the dark ages. I will introduce an open and transparent government – of the people and for the people – where everyone counts. I have the skill set to create a business model in city hall that finds, tracks and accounts for our tax dollars. This alone will save us money over the long run.
Trenton needs a government with a credible mayor that plans and shares those plans before making unwise decisions on behalf of an uniformed populous. We have the potential to be a great city with an international flare, strategic in placement and worthy of its place in history. I have the ability to do this and already sponsored an event where I asked several of my private sector friends, business leaders to consider Trenton in their development plans and received a positive response. Just last week I hosted a Business round table to discuss the possibilities Trenton presents and revitalization. We had CEO’s travel to our city from Washington DC, one on Skype from Libya, another from Nova Scotia and about two dozen locals attended. It was a positive meeting where Trenton was seen for the value it represents. More of these will follow.
We need someone with the ability to speak on behalf of this city from a position of respect and leadership to the other elements of government in order to achieve our dreams of a vibrant city. No one person can do this alone and I will need everyone’s help and cooperation. My record demonstrates that I have the experience, understand and appreciate the complexity of the situation we face, and see the scope of the problem. I will not engage people using the handicap we face, as an excuse for not succeeding. I am very present when it comes to the situation and status of Trenton.
My name is Paul Perez and I am a candidate for Mayor of this city.