My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Incentive program contradicts mayor's stance on residency

Mayor Douglas H. Palmer and state officials unveiled a new program Tuesday that will provide incentives for anyone working in Trenton who decides to take the next step and purchase a home in the capital city.

The incentives come in the form of financial benefits that include reduced mortgage interest rates and the provision of funding to reduce the overall cost of the home for buyer.

Someone seeking a $250,000 mortgage would receive $12,500 in assistance from the state, assistance on closing costs from the GMAC Mortgage company, while receiving a favorable interest rate on their mortgage, according to the Times of Trenton.

What is truly ironic about the new program is that it is called the Live Where You Work program, and it comes at a time when the city is embroiled in controversy over city employees who are skirting the city’s residency law by living outside of Trenton’s borders.

Police Director Joseph Santiago certainly doesn’t live where he works, and Communications Director Irving Bradley is in violation because his family has yet to move to Trenton, but Mayor Palmer refuses to enforce the residency law on his prized police director and his Newark tag-a-long, flunky, yes-man, Mr. Bradley.

Mayor Palmer and the state are hell-bent on people moving into targeted development areas like Trenton, with a dual goal of preserving the state’s dwindling open space and trying to revitalize its urban areas by getting middle-class wage earners to move into the city.

But the mayor won’t make these two employees – with Mr. Santiago earning around $110,000 and Mr. Bradley earning around $80,000 – move to Trenton, despite the need for Trenton to maintain and build upon its economic base of middle-class, tax-paying residents.

The program is certainly a good idea, and the state should consider increasing the benefits it provides to prospective homebuyers who are considering moving into Trenton. It fits right into the foundation of the residency ordinance, which obviously puts a premium on having people who earn a decent wage in the city live within the city.

But supporting this kind of program while failing to enforce the residency ordinance and uphold city law certainly sends the wrong message.

Stop talking out of both sides of your mouth Mayor Palmer.

No comments: