Trenton city council, New Jersey, is under fire after it emerged that a contract row could result in public buildings running out of toilet paper. Civil servants are furious and there is talk of staff walking out of work until the situation is resolved. We caught up with Trenton Councilman George Muschal to find out the latest

Q: Hello George, so how did this happen and what’s the plan?
A: City Hall had put an order in for $4,000 worth of paper cups and the council red flagged it. We asked them ‘What are you doing?’ and they didn’t want to answer questions. We had to flag it. Everything’s going up and we have a big problem with stealing, 200 cases have been stolen and nobody’s keeping watch.

A new order goes to a vote and I think they’ll get a yes. If not we’ll have another vote Thursday.

Q: So could we have the nightmare scenario of public buildings being without paper?
A: I think we’ll be fine, there’s enough in each building to get through. We should be back to normal by Monday at the latest. I said I’ll buy 100 rolls myself if it comes to it. I’ll step up, even if no one else does. It wouldn’t be the first time; I offered to buy generators when we had flooding.

Q: How can you tackle the stealing problem?
A: All these products are wide open in public spaces and nobody’s watching. Put a lock on it! I’m an ex-cop and we used to check people’s ID every time they went in and out of public buildings.