The first ever Mercer Monthly Live hit the WBCB News Network and it’s not going away any time soon.

“Each month a leader will be featured from the Mercer County community to highlight all of the positive things that are happening here in Mercer,” program host, and Mercer County Prosecutor, Angelo Onofri said.

During the inaugural show, Onorfri wasted no time getting down to brass tacks.

His guest was the 48th mayor of the capital of New Jersey, Reed Gusciora. Onorfri and Gusciora discussed an array of topics ranging from medical marijuana, to the Art All Night shooting, to the new Trenton High School.

Gusciora was transparent, honest, and hopeful for the future of Trenton throughout the hour program. Some of the highlights from Onorfri’s and the mayor’s conversation are below.

On Improving Childhood Reading Comprehension Levels:

“Too many kids go home who have no real parent supervision. The kids have single parents, and working moms who work three jobs to get ahead,” Gusciora said.

“If we can have a safe learning environment throughout the day the kids will have a safe learning environment that will help get ahead and be prepared for proficiency levels and to later on think outside the box.”

On Medical Marijuana:

“The governor is issuing six new medical marijuana licenses,” Gusciora said. “Two will be in north jersey, two will be in central, and two will be in south jersey.”

The Mayor explained that Trenton is a sought after destination for multiple dispensaries. “Of all the 45 entities who are applying for central jersey licenses, seven of them have said they want to base their operations in Trenton,” Gusciora explained.

The mayor thinks a medical marijuana dispenser will directly boost Trenton’s economy. “If we can get a dispensary license, it will be the start of an economic engine for the city of Trenton.”

On Trenton Police:

“In our hay day we had 400 officers, today we have 290,” Gusciora said. “I would love to see 25 new officers for the next four years so we can get back to those historic levels.

The mayor talked about Trenton increasing productive social opportunities, in hopes of crime decreasing. “We need cops on the street and we need to deal with the socioeconomic  problems that are out there,” Gusciora said. “Kids go to crime or drugs because they have nothing to do, they need jobs. If we can get trenton moving economically… we can provide public safety and hope for our young kids out there.

On Art All Night Shooting:

“It was almost a victim of its own success,” Gusciora said. “More and more people were coming in and we have to deal with the safety aspects of the event. We have to do a better job of providing security.”

Despite the shooting, Gusciora thinks the event is set for a massive comeback. “I think Art All Night will be bigger than ever,” Gusciora said. “We hope even more people will come out in the middle of the night next time to Art All Night.”

On the Future of Trenton:

Throughout the hour program Gusciora was nothing but positive for the capital cities future. The mayor wrapped up the show with concrete reasons why he believes Trenton’s future is bright.

Mayor Reed Gusciora (left), Mercer County Prosector Angelo Onofri (right).

“I think Trenton is going to be an exciting city,” Gusciora said. “We have to capitalize on our historic properties (The Old Barracks, Eagle Tavern, The First Presperterian Church), its stops where people who want to see history should put the capital city on their list.”

Aside from the historic destinations, Gusciora believes economic development will help change the publics perception of Trenton for years to come. “I think people are going to take a chance on the Capital City,” Gusciora explained. “Light manufacturing will be brought back in, but also businesses and nice restaurants. Chambersburg will be a great place to have a Latino meal, and I think we’re going to make real improvements in the education system.”

The Mayor also discussed how  the new Trenton High will give residents and students pride in their town. “With the brand new High School, I think the students themselves will take pride in their brand new school… I’m really excited about the new high school and making improvements to the education system.

If you missed any of Mercer Monthly Live you can go back and watch the program on Facebook and Livestream.