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Friday, October 12, 2007

Palmer's wife has a tangled web of interests

Someone on the Trenton Speaks forum today made some pretty cogent points about the current land-deal flap involving Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer's wife and a piece of property she bought from the Lawrence Township.

The poster pointed out a list of powerful positions Ms. Christiana Foglio-Palmer currently occupies in New Jersey, which provides her the ability to make these kind of sweetheart land deals.

The deal - which came coincidentally after donation funds made by Mayor Palmer were wheeled to Lawrence Township council candidates - gave some old hotel property in Lawrence to one of Mr. Foglio-Palmer's development groups at less than 25 percent of the price the township paid for the property.

As the forum poster pointed out, anyone who views this shady contribution trail must also keep in mind that Mayor Palmer's wife also happens to be in positions of power that probably helped close this purchase.

Mayor Palmer's wife is currently the Chairperson of a statewide non-profit, CityWorks that works with commercial development in poor urban areas. She also happens to be on the Board of the Mercer County Improvement Authority, Chair of the State Planning Commission, and housing advisor to Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

She also happened to be in charge of the Council on Affordable Housing under previous governors.

Trenton residents have to ask themselves before they vote in the next election whether they want city leadership to be involved in these tangled webs of outside interests.

They may not be illegal, but they continually call into question the motives behind decisions made by our elected representatives.

It might be the norm in New Jersey, but it doesn't make it right.

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