Trenton City Council Addresses Cannabis Retail, Public Safety, and Community Concerns

The Trenton City Council recently convened to discuss a spectrum of topics, including the introduction of cannabis retail applications, public safety enhancements, and a variety of community concerns ranging from property damage to rent stabilization. Theory Wellness presented a comprehensive proposal for recreational cannabis sales, sparking council interest in their business model and community initiatives. Public safety was also a focal point, with Councilwoman Jennifer Williams advocating for community-police communication and Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson addressing property damage caused by delivery trucks. Moreover, issues of property tax fairness, overcrowded rental housing, and the establishment of a rent stabilization board were brought to the council’s attention by residents during the civic comment segment.

Theory Wellness, represented by co-founder Nick Freeman, put forth a detailed proposal for opening a recreational cannabis storefront in Trenton. Their presentation emphasized the company’s extensive experience in the industry and their commitment to maintaining high standards of customer care and compliance. The proposal also outlined Theory Wellness’s intention to hire locally and to directly support nonprofits within the community. Council members engaged with the presentation by inquiring about employee benefits, wages, community relations, and security measures. The proposal was met with support from the council, who acknowledged the potential for positive local impact.

Public safety issues were at the forefront of the discussion, with Councilwoman Williams underscoring the significance of communication between the community and law enforcement. She noted the importance of the Community Police Advisory Council (CPAC) in fostering these relationships. Williams also mentioned the prompt action taken to clear debris from John Beach Park, emphasizing the park’s value to the Southwood community.

The council addressed concerns from residents regarding property damage, specifically the incidents brought forward by Stephen Beluchi involving large delivery trucks in residential areas. Councilwoman Caldwell-Wilson expressed a readiness to work alongside Councilman Harrison to resolve this matter.

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Diane Drayton, a long-standing resident, brought to light her frustration with what she considered inequitable property tax reductions that unfairly burden long-term residents. She also highlighted a lack of action concerning damage to her property from a neighboring lot. Leslie Wilborne, from the north ward, raised issues about an abandoned property on Ellis Avenue, the challenge of overcrowded rental houses, and the impact of burgeoning cannabis dispensaries on the neighborhood. Wilborne’s concerns also included the existence and efficacy of a rent stabilization board amidst rising rents.

The council demonstrated a willingness to tackle these grievances, with Councilwoman Edwards openly supporting the reestablishment of the rent stabilization board and urging residents with interest to apply. She also addressed concerns regarding large trucks in the city.

In terms of legislative action, the council deliberated on several ordinances, including traffic regulation amendments and a capital appropriation for road improvements funded by a New Jersey Department of Transportation grant. An ordinance concerning penalties for illegal dumping was also discussed. Moreover, they considered a first reading of an ordinance to regulate the keeping of animals and wildlife within the city.

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The consent agenda, which was unanimously approved, included a notable resolution to adopt a settlement agreement between the Trenton Department of Water and Sewer and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, addressing alleged Air Pollution Control Act violations with a settlement of $441,500.

During the meeting, expressions of gratitude and recognition were shared among council members. Councilwoman Edwards was congratulated for her role on the Cannabis Advisory Board, and Councilwoman Gonzalez encouraged applications for the rent stabilization board. Councilman Harrison commended a local athlete’s Super Bowl performance and paid tribute to the contributions of Mr. McCrae to the city. Councilwoman Williams addressed concerns affecting seniors, including tax increases and home maintenance challenges, while Vice President Figueroa Kettenburg acknowledged citizen concerns and extended an invitation to a Dominican Independence Day celebration. Council President Feliciano emphasized the importance of council unity and collaboration.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Reed Gusciora
City Council Officials:
Joseph Harrison, Jasi Mikae Edwards, Crystal Feliciano, Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg, Teska Frisby, Yazminelly Gonzalez, Jennifer Williams

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