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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

L.A., stop spinning the issue

What seemed like a feeble attempt to discolor the actions of City Council last week was penned in today’s Trentonian by reporter, columnist, and Doug Palmer-supporter L.A. Parker.

The target of the propaganda was a move by four council members last week to halt council business until information needed to make educated votes was provided by Business Administrator Jane Feigenbaum and the Palmer administration to City Council members.

Mr. Parker wrote that Councilman Jim Coston misled Councilman Manny Segura into supporting last week’s work stoppage by saying all council members would be made aware of the plan before putting it to an eventually successful vote. Apparently Mr. Coston did not make council members Annette Lartigue, Paul Pintella, and Cordelia Staton aware of the plan, according to the article.

But, when it comes down to it, who really cares?

All three of those council representatives have continually toed the administration line over the past half-year or so, so making them aware of the plan would have likely resulted in stall tactics or other attempts to sabotage Mr. Coston’s plan to halt City Council business. It is equally as likely that their vote would have been the same regardless of being informed of the plan.

The three support the status quo and that means relegating City Council to the status of a secondary and almost ceremonial body meant to constantly support every administrative initiative, no matter how misguided and out of touch with the interests of the people of Trenton.

Ms. Lartigue, Mr. Pintella, and Ms. Staton’s actions last week speak volumes about how they see themselves fitting into Trenton’s city government. Whether they had prior knowledge or not it is not easily understandable why they voted against the measure, except as a very public way of showing their support of the administration.

It just doesn't make sense for City Council members to vote against a measure that effectively enforces the importance of the legislative body getting the information it needs to perform its duties, simply because they weren’t made aware of the plan prior to its public announcement.

Apparently Trenton has a bunch of puerile individuals in important positions of power that need to be ousted as soon as possible.

Even more interesting than last week's events will be what happens at tonight's City Council conference session, especially considering that, despite the Trentonian piece, all systems are go for continued action by City Council's dynamic "gang of four."

If the administration repeats their old stonewalling tactics tonight, the proper plan of action would be to immediately adopt a resolution bringing Ms. Feigenbaum or any other official withholding information up on charges for eventual removal, which City Council is empowered to do.

That’s how a functioning legislative branch plays hardball.

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