All too often when a city’s mayor and city council can’t come to terms on a budget, it’s the city that suffers. But, the toilet paper shortage in Trenton, New Jersey must be one for the record books.
What’s the lesson to be learned here? According to PETA, it’s that you should go vegan!
(Reuters) – A budget battle in New Jersey’s capital city has some extremely unpleasant fallout, including a toilet paper shortage at police headquarters, fire stations, senior centers and municipal offices.
“It’s serious right now,” Lauren Ira, spokeswoman for the city administration of Trenton, said on Tuesday.
Supplies have been dwindling down to almost nothing in the months since a spending fight broke out among the City Council in November over a $42,000 spending request for a year’s supply of paper products, including toilet paper.
Detective George Dzurkoc painted a desperate picture of conditions at police headquarters, where he said the men’s rooms are completely bare and just a few rolls are left in the women’s rooms.
Dzurkoc, head of the city’s Policemen’s Benevolent Association, filed complaints Tuesday morning with the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration and the state Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Program.
“The bottom line is they have a health issue knocking at the door,” Dzurkoc said.
The Trenton toilet paper shortage has been solved…at least temporarily.
They scoured three floors at police headquarters in Trenton, New Jersey, but no toilet paper was found. The situation was the same at City Hall, the source of the TP shortage, because of disagreements between politicians and bureaucrats.
City government in the state’s capital ran out of bathroom tissue following the refusal of city council members to approve a $42,573 order for toilet paper, toilet seat covers and paper towels.
The dispute forced police officers to bring their own toilet paper to work or to use restrooms at hotels and other local businesses.
In November, December and again in January, the city council balked at signing off on the resupply because they didn’t like the $4,000 “paper hot drink cups with handles” line-item.
“It’s beyond dysfunctional,” George Dzurkoc, president of the Policemen’s Benevolent Association, told the Times of Trenton. “You expect there’s going to be some conflict, but my God. Basic necessities. They can’t even get that straight.”
Fortunately, the administration of Mayor Tony Mack was able to sign an emergency contract to purchase $16,000 worth of paper products (but no paper hot drink cups). In addition, Mack agreed to accept a donation of a six-month supply of toilet paper from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which agreed to the deal as long as the toilet paper was printed with the message “Slaughterhouses are so filthy that more than half of all meat is contaminated with fecal bacteria. Wipe cruelty from your diet. Go vegan. PETA.”
PETA’s executive vice-president, Tracy Reiman, called it “a cheeky solution.”
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff