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Friday, September 21, 2007

Wake up!

Trenton City Council members said the mayor and his administration department officials have disrespected the elected representatives of the people of Trenton.

Therefore they have disrespected Trenton's residents, and Trenton, as well.

Sentiments came out during this week's executive session discussion of the appointment of Juanita Joyner as the Trenton's new City Clerk, provided by Trenton resident Paul Harris on his Web site.

Numerous residents and people associated with Trenton have marveled at the way city officials like Chief of Staff Renee Haynes and Business Administrator Jane Feigenbaum have repeatedly disrespected City Council.

These administration heavyweights frequently withhold information from council, even forcing them to use OPRA requests.

Observes have labeled these actions as disrespectful of the power of the council as the representatives of the residents.

This is one of the first times members other than Councilman Jim Coston have been on the record about it.

"I know that since I was elected to this place right here, administration had never shown any respect whatsoever to this body, and this is my second term," said Councilman Manny Segura. "We are a legislative body, Mr. President, and I believe we need to be respected."

Councilman Geno Melone said the way in which Juanita Joyner was appointed into her first assistant clerk position was disrespectful of City Council, when the woman was tapped for the job without asking council or receiving the governing body's advice and consent, as required by New Jersey statute.

"Does this body feel, the way even Ms. Joyner was hired was in a respectable manner to this Council?" said Mr. Melone. "This Council was not even brought into discussion by the administration for her hiring."

Geno said Paul Pintella and the rest of council had turned over control of the important clerk position over to the administration.

"You've turned, well, Council too, not just you Paul, the Clerk's office over to the administration," said Mr. Melone. "In fact, I came this far from stating why don't you just have the administration, since they done everything else, make the appointment of the Clerk."

Without a strong City Council counterbalancing the Palmer administration, Trenton City really has no hope of extricating itself from the malaise of the last 17 years under Trenton's fashionable mayor, Mr. Palmer.

The next election will require the active citizenry to search deep within itself to select worthy candidates who will challenge Palmer or whoever else may slither into the mayor's office in the meantime.

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