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Government Gridlock Leads To Toilet Paper Shortage In Trenton

By Robin Rieger

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – Trenton's Health Department could shut down some city buildings if a toilet paper shortage isn't resolved soon.

"It could be an inconvenience for anybody, young, old, male, female," said Maryann Wooten of Hamilton Township.

The toilet paper and paper towel supply for at least 11 buildings, including City Hall, are dangerously low.

"We have one box with about 15 rolls of toilet paper and that's it," acting Public Works Director Harold Hall said.

Hall says a City Council resolution to order more paper supplies, including paper cups, was voted down. Some council members didn't think the cash-strapped city needed to buy the cups.

"I told them I would take the cups out and re-submit the request," Hall said.

City Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson said that she isn't sure it was a legal request.

"Once you bid and give in a contract, you can't remove something from a bid. You have to pull it back, you have to cancel it and then you have to re-bid it," said Caldwell-Wilson.

The city's legal department reviewed her concern before Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

"I think some council members are so full of blank. They can't even pass a resolution to purchase toiletries. By putting their agenda before the public's agenda, they are jeopardizing the city's ability to keep open senior and rec centers and city buildings," said Mayor Tony Mack.

Trenton Police Department's PBA President says he filed complaints with the State and Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offices for his building, which has no supplies and operates 24/7. He says many employees are forced to bring their own rolls.

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