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Trenton mayor fights back, vetoes pay cut

GLENN TOWNES Special to the AmNews | 1/11/2013, 1:25 p.m.

Last week, embattled Trenton Mayor Tony Mack showed that he is still the man in charge when he summarily vetoed a request by the City Council that would have slashed his annual salary in half.

In a prepared statement released to the media, Mack said, "I am rejecting Ordinance 12-30 because it is an unconstitutional violation of my due process rights and violates the Faulkner Act." In its simplest definition, the Faulkner Act provides New Jersey municipalities the option to introduce proposed ordinances by the citizens without action by the local governing body.

On Thursday, the City Council voted to cut the mayor's annual salary from $126,400 to $60,000--with Council Members Phyllis Holly Ward, Zachary Chester, George Muschal and Marge Caldwell Wilson voting in favor of the cut. This latest development follows a no-confidence vote by the council and a raid on Mack's home and City Hall offices by federal investigators in September. Mack, his brother and a local businessman have been charged with corruption, extortion and other offenses by the feds. Mack has vowed he will not resign and dismisses the charges as false.

City residents, angered and frustrated with Mack's subpar leadership and alleged illicit activities, failed to have him recalled from office. It remains unclear what, if any, other options council members will utilize in order to cut Mack's pay.