TRENTON — The mayor and council president of New Jersey's capital city are at odds over a proposed $4 million American Rescue Plan appropriation to upgrade a two-way radio system used by the municipal police and fire departments, emergency medical services, and Trenton Water Works.

In the short term, according to a release from Mayor Reed Gusciora's office, a $218,418 payment must be made to MPS Communications, the city's current vendor, or radio service will be cut off Oct. 31.

Gusciora said the system as it stands now "does not meet current public safety standards," but that the assessment of its performance as characterized by Council President Kathy McBride is not exactly accurate.

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A new vendor is prepared to come online, according to the mayor's release.

But McBride, in a Facebook post, said "absolutely no information" was given by the mayor's office in a one-page memo that would have served to justify the use of the $4 million.

"This issue did not just arise this past month," McBride wrote in her post, saying the administration has known about the shortcomings of the radio system for four years, and that the current contract with MPS has been subject to an investigation and series of subpoenas.

Gusciora said he is appealing to McBride to reverse her decisions to pull the resolution on the $4 million appropriation, and table a separate one on the October MPS payment.

Both parties claim the actions of the other put Trenton residents at risk, and they are asking those residents to weigh in.

Gusciora wants citizens to "flood" the Clerk's office at 609-989-3187, and McBride said questions regarding her release should be directed to 609-575-2410.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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