Toilet Paper May Run Out in Trenton City Offices
The capital of New Jersey (STONJ1), the third-wealthiest U.S. state, may run out of toilet paper in city buildings because Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and the council are sparring over a purchasing contract.
Trenton, midway between Philadelphia and New York, has money set aside to buy the bathroom tissue, yet the council won’t sign off on the purchase, said Lauren Ira, a spokeswoman for the mayor. City Hall has enough toilet paper to last until March 16, though supplies at other buildings may run out by early next week, Mack said in a statement.
George Muschal, a retired city police officer who represents the city’s South Ward, said the council has refused to sign off on a $42,573 resolution to order paper products, including toilet tissue, cups and towels. The dispute erupted in November when the council balked at Mack’s decision to include $4,000 in paper cups in the order, he said.
“We’re the checks and balances over the administration, and we’re not going to send out any blank checks,” Muschal said in an interview.
The bill for paper cups is too high and Mack hasn’t provided enough information, Muschal said. The council is also concerned that the mayor didn’t solicit bids from Trenton-based suppliers, he said. Muschal also cited what he said were reports that the mayor’s paper order is unnecessarily large because employees may be stealing the products for home use.
The standoff is reminiscent of a 2010 warning by Newark Mayor Cory Booker in which he said he might be forced to cut “everything from printer paper to toilet paper” as the community faced a $150 million budget gap. Marcal Manufacturing Inc., a 60-year-old maker of toilet tissue based 13 miles (21 kilometers) away in Elmwood Park, offered to park a tractor- trailer with 50,000 rolls valued at $35,000 outside City Hall.
Booker never cut funding for toilet paper, said his spokeswoman, Esmeralda Cameron.