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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Trenton officials bend the rules

Trenton City leadership has gone after city employees in the past for violating city code provisions requiring city workers to live in Trenton, but the city's police director currently livies outside the law without a bona fide residence within city limits.

Police Director Joseph Santiago used to feign residence at several different Trenton locations - like the Grand Court Villas in South Trenton - but nowadays he makes it no secret that he lives at his family home, elsewhere in New Jersey.

Some city residents question a mayor and City Council who don't even enforce the city's own code. They question the ethics of a government that doesn't follow its own rules while tasked with governing a large urban area with complex problems.

A city government that selectively enforces its own rules, like Mr. Santiago's residence, promotes skepticism on the part of city residents and does little to foster confidence in its governing ability.

Residents should look for council and mayoral candidates in the 2010 election that promise to uphold all of the laws of the City of Trenton, instead of the current government's lackadaisical stance with enforcing the city's laws and structure.

A citizen's initiative to use legal means to get the city government to toe the line with regards to Mr. Santiago and the residency laws would be an effective way to send a message to some of Trenton's apparently arrogant and incompetent officials.

The long march back to open, honest, and effective city government could begin in court.

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