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Friday, April 18, 2008

Still no phantom residency violators?

The city administration continues to perpetuate the myth of a hundred or more city employees being threatened with immediate termination from employment because of residency violations, requiring a timely enactment of a residency waiver provision by City Council.

That should gain no traction with anyone in Trenton, and should be recognized for what it is: a feeble political tactic.

Every single one of these employees should have signed a residency certification either during the hiring process or sometime during 1995, depending on when they were first employed by the City of Trenton.

Those certifications carry potential criminal charges for false information, which includes statements about taking up residence in Trenton. The document also states in no uncertain terms that people who violate the residency ordinance while working for Trenton face immediate termination.

In fact, 30 or so employees have been terminated by the Douglas Palmer administration for breaking the residency law, and several are currently fighting prosecution by the city for residency violations.

The Palmer administration has yet to reveal the identities of any of the so-called residency violators, and when they do, it remains to be seen whether any of these people falsified their certifications, received true residency waivers, or are simply products of the long-established record of selective enforcement by the city government.

Like every other city employee, these people should be forced to move into the city, or face termination. Let no one forget about all of the other employees who have been drummed out of service for breaking a well-established and helpful residency law in Trenton.

Trenton cannot afford to let valuable city tax dollars flee the city limits in the salaries or gas tanks of employees who are legally required to take up residence here, contributing both tax dollars to the city and disposable dollars to Trenton's economy.

Their existence - if they even exist - represents no good reason to amend the residency law. Rather, it only serves as further evidence of the evil government running the capital city of New Jersey.

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