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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Capital games

Misinformation continues to thrive here in Trenton, New Jersey.

Probably the largest infestation of the illness exists down the street from where these words are being typed, at the New Jersey Statehouse.

But, instead of turning left down State Street, one looking for massive amounts misinformation could also turn right, and head down to City Hall at 319 E. State Street, or even better, down towards Perry Street, to the Trentonian.

Drivel written there and published this weekend missed the point on the City of Trenton's gun quandary, just as West Ward Councilwoman Annette Lartigue missed the point when asking questions of former Police Director Joseph Santiago during City Council's Tuesday session.

She asked him if he had any special, hidden interests in ensuring the passage of a resolution handing a $200,000 city contract to Lawmen Supply Co. of Egg Harbor City for the provision of 425 new Springfield handguns to the Trenton Police Department, citing anonymous Internet writing as the source of the questions. Remember, the Springfield plan came at a time when current handgun provider Glock has offered to replace all the city's current weapons at no cost, instead of the switch to Springfield.

The line of questioning between Ms. Lartigue and Mr. Santiago - who had a private conversation for a couple of minutes before the incident began - caused the former director to utter his now infamous line about suing City Council members, or asking them to "take it outside."

It was a pretty interesting moment for sure, but now it just looks like some sort of distraction between a bombastic city official whose job is on the chopping block and an overly vocal mayoral candidate who is sometimes short on actual legislative action.

Ms. Lartigue's line of questioning - like this weekend's Trentonian article - seems to have only served to misinform or distract from the issue at hand in this gun question.

What is actually at question is whether or not the City of Trenton should pursue the new weapons at the cost of $200,000 when the current supplier, Glock, has offered to replace all of the current weapons with new ones for free, and not if Mr. Santiago has some sort of hidden agendas in the matter.

Trenton is currently facing a major budget crisis, so the question is about if this is really an appropriate time to spend what seems like thousands of unnecessary dollars on new weapons that are not even regarded as markedly better over the current guns.

The Trentonian said the swap would cost $25,000, but that's false as well, just like the column's assertion that the $200,000 expenditure has already been approved.

That $25,000 only comes in with a trade-in for .45 caliber Glocks, which is not even really on the table at this point. And the fact that the expenditure was downplayed by Mr. Santiago and the Trentonian as being a capital expenditure - thus taking years to pay off - shows that some people here have no respect for city taxpayers, who have to pay off the sum of money regardless, whether in one year or 20.

Does Trenton really need these new weapons, at the cost of $200,000, when the current provider of perfectly good weapons is offering to replace all of the department's weapons for free?

Let your city representatives know what you think before Tuesday's meeting.

1 comment:

Old Mill Hill said...

It's not a game when it's my tax dollars that Parker and Santiago are playing with.

And let's remember...they are both non-residents of the city of Trenton.