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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ammunition for which handgun?

City Council members were not the target of a $200,000 ambush at their conference meeting at City Hall Tuesday.

It seems that Douglas H. Palmer administration officials decided not to bring up a pricey resolution that would provide the Trenton Police Department with all-new Springfield handguns, despite an offer from the current weapons supplier to replace all the current Glock weapons for free.

What was on the docket was a resolution that would purchase 170,000 rounds of ammunition, with the language of the $24,350 measure failing to explain exactly which weapon or weapons the rounds would be used for.

When Councilman Jim Coston asked Business Administrator Jane Feigenbaum for a clarification on exactly which kind of weapon these new rounds were being purchased for, he certainly received an odd answer.

"That I can't say," said Ms. Feigenbaum, in a suspicious tone, before recovering slightly. "I would assume it's for the guns we currently have."

Ms. Feigenbaum said she would get back to council members on the nature of the ammunition in time for the planned vote on the resolution Thursday.

Whether she eventually divulges the information or not, it certainly raised some eyebrows in City Council chambers when Ms. Feigenbaum said she did not know what weapon the ammunition purchase was for.

Ms. Feigenbaum is the Business Administrator, meaning she is usually the person questioned by council members on nearly any resolution or docket item. So what gives?

Maybe the administration and the police leadership decided to go ahead and try and get City Council's approval to order ammunition for the Springfield weapons, even though a majority of City Council do not want to spend the extra cash for those guns, because of the free Glock offer and the city's current fiscal woes.

If that is not the case, and this order of ammunition turns out to be for the department's current Glocks, then that's a great sign.

That means that, just maybe, some of the administration officials and Police Director Joseph Santiago's cronies have recognized the dream of buying the totally unnecessary and costly Springfield handguns has failed for good, because of the will of City Council.

If it turns out the ammunition resolution is indeed for the desired Springfield weapons, then the administration needs to be taken to task for what would amount to be just one more of their arrogant actions, in treating a council vote on one of their initiatives as a totally "done-deal."

They are now dealing with a different kind of City Council.


Nicholas Stewart said...

Trenton's Business Administrator, more often than not, can not explain city expenditures. Or, maybe she does not want to. I can never tell. Council members usually hear, "I don't know," or things like, "not that much," and "we're going to save money." I can't believe City Council accepts those explanations. It is scary.

Old Mill Hill said...

It's been this way for too long.

And with the way the Presiding Officer takes up for the Administration you can see why?

Who wants to raise a question only to be bullied by the Council President?

Fortunately, in the past several months there seems to be some change coming over some of the members of Council.

To those that are raising the questions and challenging the status quo, I say "bravo!"