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Sunday, April 13, 2008

What is needed for a recall

A possible recall of Trenton's mayor, Douglas H. Palmer, has been thrown around a lot recently here in New Jersey's capital.

The belief here is that this should be done, although the sheer numbers and process behind undertaking such a task mean that a careful investigation of the prospects of doing so need to be investigated and carefully planned.

That must be done before the start of a drive that would likely require the signatures of eight to 10,000 registered voters to be completed successfully.

One of the most important tasks facing a recall effort is to put together a concise and meaningful message that can be used to get people from all over the city to support recalling Mayor Palmer.

There is no shortage of fodder for this message, simply because Mayor Palmer - especially recently - has basically given up any facade of actually doing what is right for the people of the City of Trenton.

Contradictory statements made during the Joseph J. Santiago residency case have revealed to the world what Mayor Palmer is.

Mayor Palmer has shown himself to be a man who is willing to do anything and everything to win a fight against his own residents and against the rule of law to save the butt of a man who has clearly broken a very simple and very important law in this city.

Before this, he was a severely vindictive and ineffective policy maker who managed to repeatedly get reelected, while having done nearly nothing to revive this city.

Neighborhoods that were once strong have slid into ruin, and numerous city businesses have fled for the safety of the suburbs while the rest of the city has continued to experience a violent plague of deadly social problems that threaten its very existence.

Despite what manipulated statistics of the Police Department may show, this city is not safe, crime is not down, and what's worse, the awful politicization and polarization of the Police Department has rendered much of the work of many of the bravest and finest of Trenton's police moot.

The city government here is run in a deep shroud of secrecy, with city money and city contracts doled out not to those who would do the best job for a city that sorely needs it, but on the basis of patronage, cronyism, and the whim of a politician who likely spends the minority of his time in the city he has ruled for nearly two decades.

A large number of officials in the Palmer administration act in an arrogant and disrespectful manner not only to regular city residents, but to the very group of representatives those residents elected onto the seven seats of the co-equal legislative branch of government, City Council.

Economic redevelopment has failed miserably under Mayor Palmer.

With only a rough and hasty count, it seems that at least five major redevelopment projects have either stalled or never come to fruition, even though those projects probably represent the only way this city will ever come out of its economic and social slumber.

Despite this litany of failures and violations of the public trust, Mayor Palmer has managed to sandbag himself behind a wall of subservient followers who are frequently blinded by poverty and political posturing.

Piercing that blinding blanket and making people realize once and for all that this man has got to go before the city can take any step forward is the most crucial step before such a recall action can run its course and finish with the election of some other executive.

Maybe it's time to get to work.

1 comment:

Dennis C. McGrath said...

Excellent analysis of the city's current status. I would put the effort into running a progressive campaign for the next mayor, rather than recalling Mr. Palmer - you aren't going to be done of him that much sooner via a recall, and a mayoral campaign has to be run in any case.