My blog has moved!

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

Friday, February 8, 2008

The regime change has begun

The first piece of Sharpe James' Newark garbage was shown the door last night when the Trenton City Council voted not to renew a contract for Barry Colicelli, Mayor Douglas H. Palmer's gang consultant and Police Director Joseph Santiago's Newark crony.

The vote preceded an absurd dog-and-pony show where Mr. Colicelli - who has not been seen in City Council for 10 months - came before the body and gave an hour-long presentation that attempted to show the council exactly what they were getting for $91,000 a year, and why they should give Mr. Colicelli a pay raise.

After retiring into the main council chambers for the second half of the meeting, the true circus began, when Mayor Palmer's council puppets and administration officials fought an invaliant and nearly illegal effort to stall the vote, when they saw the resolution awarding the contract would fail.

After two no votes from councilmen Milford Bethea and Jim Coston, Councilwoman Annette Lartigue tried to launch a discussion into how to amend the resolution to make it passable by City Council.

What followed was truly ridiculous, with Ms. Lartigue, Council President Paul Pintella, and Councilwoman Cordelia Staton holding inaudible side conversations in public view, apparently to discuss strategy about what to do about the imminent failure of the administration's pet resolution.

Chief of Staf Renee Haynes resorted to scare tactics and gave council a ghoulish warning about the possible no vote on the contract, in the middle of a council motion and while the vote that was still on the floor.

"Council needs to be aware that if they fail to pass this resolution, there will be a void left in Trenton that cannot be filled," said Ms. Haynes, who implied that a no vote was a vote against public safety and Trenton's well-being.

The feeling here is it was a vote about governmental integrity, good fiscal management, and a rejection of the bullying Palmer administration's attitude toward the legislative branch of city government.

After Mr. Pintella started more discussion, and chastised his colleagues for voting against the measure, City Attorney Denise Lyles said that the vote was still on the floor and needed to be finished before council could discuss rebidding the contract or doing anything else.

Both councilmen Gine Melone and Manny Segura voted no, with Mr. Melone addressing Mr. Colicelli and saying he had done a good job but the city no longer needed his services, which to him seemed like a permanent contract.

Mr. Segura had harsh words for some of his other council members and the administration officials, who had begun bullying tactics while the vote was tkaing place.

"No one will intimidate me about my voting," Mr. Segura said.

The measure failed, with four no votes, an abstention from Ms. Lartigue, and two yes votes from the Palmerites, Ms. Staton and Mr. Pintella.

In the battle to rid T-Town of more Newark garbage thus far: one down, two more to go.

No comments: