Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And they wonder why people are disgusted

Apparently Ringling Brothers isn't the only circus in town this week. The antics at Tuesday night's City Council conference session regarding the proposal to spend $200,000 for new police guns were truly equivalent to a three ring circus.

For the details according to the Times, check out Andrew Kitchenman's article.

The Trentonian's L.A. Parker wrote it up this way.

On his blog, Broad Street Bank Building resident Greg Forester gave his own account of the meeting.

The anger and frustration at what should be a very simple decision to not spend money that doesn't have to be spent is completely irrational and irresponsible.

The behavior of former Police Director Santiago and West Ward Councilwoman Lartigue is beyond embarrassing.

Santiago's emotional outburst was unprofessional to say the least. His "calling out" of Council was not only immature and full of false bravado, it is but another example of why the man is not fit to lead Trenton's or any other Police Department.

Strangely, no one on Council saw fit to have the former Director removed from the meeting. Unlike last week when Frank Weeden let loose the "F-Bomb" and Councilwoman Lartigue immediately demanded security remove him from the room, no one even thought to admonish Santiago for his ill-behavior let alone ask to have him removed from the room. Just another example of how the public is treated differently than the Mayor's inner circle!

For her part, Councilwoman Lartigue's assertion that the city would be sued for breech of contract for not accepting the Springfield bid seems somewhat off target.

Since Council has yet to vote on awarding the contract, how can it be in effect and therefore, how can it be breached by not voting to approve it.

Also, the comment that the "free offer" from Glock might be illegal seems as though it may be off base if not totally incorrect.

And where, during all of this, is the City Attorney and the well-paid, outside consultant "Special Counsel?" Why haven't they weighed in on the proceedings with expert opinions on the legalities involved?

"Anonymous" poster "SportyJoe" very nicely framed the problems and challenged the two local newspaper reporters to answer some good questions in this post on the Trenton Speaks forum. He makes some raises some good points that should be answered and reported on to the public at large as well as to the Council members and their "legal representation."

Interestingly, the former Police Director is quoted as challenging Council about heeding information provided through "anonymous" commentary on the Internet as opposed to what the administration was spoon feeding them.

This clearly demonstrates the prevailing attitude that council should just be quiet and do the administration's bidding; and that the public should just be quiet. Period.

Council's recent history shows that a close majority is more interested in thinking for themselves...and presumably for the good of Trenton residents...than following the Palmer line. This is a good thing.

But for those who insist on carrying Palmer's water (Pintella and Staton, to be sure), they need to understand that this "anonymous" Internet chatter is what is forcing Trenton's City Government to operate in a more open and responsible fashion.

They should embrace it or relinquish their positions as erstwhile "representatives" of the people.


Nicholas Stewart said...

People are disgusted?

Old Mill Hill said...

Aren't you?

Aren't you disgusted with a bullying administration that is responsive only to it own needs and wants with little thought of or care for what is best for the city?

Aren't you disgusted with what has been a largely ineffectual council who's presiding officer couldn't think his way out of a paper bag without the Mayor showing him the way?

Aren't you disgusted with the arrogance and rudeness of the former Police Director towards the people he works for and their elected representatives?

Aren't you disgusted that the city is literally falling apart while the Mayor gallavants around the country in search of his next job?

You bet you are. And so are a lot of other people. But those who purport to serve us don't seem to get it, do they.

Chrissy said...

OMH wrote:
"Aren't you disgusted with what has been a largely ineffectual council who's presiding officer couldn't think his way out of a paper bag without the Mayor showing him the way?"

Hell, yeah! I find that intolerable. But what may be even worse is that the Mayor wouldn't show the council prez out of that paper bag, without leading him right into another.

By the way: kudos to Sporty Joe for challenging the local reporters to, uh, do their jobs. All the newspapers are whining because no one is advertising, no one is buying the print version anymore, and they continue to whine, instead of figuring out how to adapt to the changing environment. There are plenty of us bloggers/posters who are not anonymous, and plenty who are. We need both kinds of grassroots journalism to inspire growth and change in our system. Hopefully the local "recognized" (that is, paid, I guess?) writers will run with the delicious buffet of information that's been spread out before them. It may make the difference between their relevance and the end of their usefulness to society.