Doug tries to foist Colicelli on council and the city again.
Almost a year ago, Trenton's city council pulled the plug on Barry Colicelli's sweetheart deal with the Palmer administration by not renewing his contract. Now he's back again in a resolution to hire his consulting company to be the city's "Youthstat Coordinator."
Colicelli, you may recall, was a former Newark cop and crony of former Police Director Joe Santiago who for three years or so had a contract with the city to be a special advisor to Mr. Palmer in matters pertaining to the city's gang problem. Colicelli's "Target Law Enforcement and Security Consultants, LLC" was given annual contracts worth just shy of $100,000 plus a car, cell phones, computers and furnished offer in city hall.
Finally, members of city council apparently had their fill of funding the position for an outsider when there must be one or more individuals already on the city payroll who could take on the tasks of this "consultant." Further, there might actually be a resident (or two or three) qualified to do the work.
Fortunately for Colicelli and Palmer, there was never any real look at the fact that the former was paid for work done without a contract in place; from apparently duplicated invoices; and without proper checks and balances from within city hall.
Fortunately for the taxpayers, a majority of council saw that it was their duty to not allow these questionable practices to continue siphoning off serious resources from a cash-strapped city.
Now, not even a year later, Colicelli/Target Law Enforcement is up for another contract with the city. While it is apparently a slightly less valuable contract (not to exceed $71,149), it is still questionable as to whether or not it is a reasonable or required expense.
First of all, we have never gotten a satisfactorily reasoned and explained answer to the question of whether or not we already had people on staff who could perform these duties as part of his/her job?
Second, there are questions about the "bidding process" used to fill this position.
Rumors have swirled for the past few weeks that an equally if not more qualified city resident expressed an interest in this consultant contract...and allegedly for a lower amount...but was passed over in favor of Colicelli.
Doug Palmer must thing we have forgotten what happened not even 12 months ago.
He must also be pretty certain that he has a majority of council votes to approve this contract.
After conducting a caucus on the front stoop, we suggest that the citizens of Trenton let their elected officials know that they will not stand for this type of shady dealing.
Once again, it is incumbent upon the residents to remind Mr. Palmer and city council that we are not stupid or forgetful and that we will not tolerate the administration's cavalier attitude towards spending our money on their whims.