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Friday, November 7, 2008

A fool's council

Trenton's West Ward Councilwoman Annette Lartigue likes carrying water for Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, even when it means demonstrating to the world just how inadequate she and her colleagues are when it comes to doing their jobs.

That was especially evident today in reviewing a Times of Trenton account of Thursday night's City Council proceedings, in which Councilwoman Lartigue continued repeating the Palmer line on the city's residency law regarding Fire Director Hank Gliottone.

This constant line of attack is based on the idea that citizens who have held the line on the non-residency of recent police director appointees failed to do so when it came to this fire director and a recent interim police director, and are therefore somewhat hypocritical, according to Palmerites like the West Ward councilwoman.

Fools like these think they are gaining some sort of cheap political capital doing this, but the problem with this line of reasoning - which proves how inadequately prepared Councilwoman Lartigue is for her job - is that state law prohibits residency requirements for these directors, because these men are sworn police or fire personnel.

Every resident, including me, would love it if these men resided within the city and contributed to the tax base and community, but it would simply be unlawful to force them to do so through any kind of lawsuit.

Of course, City Council members could have used their powers to force the administration into appointing civilian residents for this fire position, but that wouldn't be appropriate for this Trenton City Council.

They declined to do so, which is a failure on their part, until the Palmer administration and Councilwoman Lartigue and her obedient council buddies began to question the arrangement, as an attack on residency-supporting citizens.

But instead of producing political capital, all this really proves is that city officials and council members are woefully inadequate for their employment, and that people who call these officials out on one area of failure better call them out on all areas of failure.

If they don't, they risk being painted as hypocrites for not touching on every one of the thousands of instances where people like Councilwoman Lartigue have failed the city.

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