Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thanks for sharing

Another party heard from.

Juan Martinez sent out what appears to be the second press release of his campaign. Martinez is a candidate for the south ward council seat vacated by Jim Coston.

Sunday, the Times published an announcement listing Martinez’s campaign staffers. The release names a Campaign Manager (Rafael Valentin), Deputy Campaign Manager ( Carmen Melendez) and Second Deputy Campaign Manager (Tina Roach). Six other team members are named in the release.

Previously, Martinez refused to participate in the September 8 candidate forum sponsored by the Jersey Street Community Association because it was held two day before the City Clerk certified all the candidates. Martinez also complained that the forum was unfair because two officers of the organization had, as individuals, already endorsed one of the candidates.

It was noble that, in this latest release, Mr. Martinez didn’t embroil himself in the controversy over rival candidate Paul Harris’s bogus posting on the Trentonian website. But it would have been more beneficial to the voters, not to mention to Mr. Martinez’s campaign to have used the press release to outline some positions.

You would think that at least one of the more than half dozen campaign staffers mentioned in the press release could have advised Juan of that.

Friday, September 18, 2009

City council asks why? How?

Balk at hiring extra administrator.

Trenton’s City Council members don’t often get praised for the job they are doing. And there may be reasons for that, but last night they put the brakes on another excursion of the Doug Palmer express as the administration tried to ram through approval of a $75,000 contract to pay for an assistant business administrator.

Good for the members of city council for standing up and saying, “What!?!? NO!!!”

For those who missed it, the Times’ Meir Rinde wrote it up in this morning’s edition.

The long and the short of it is this:

At a time when the city has laid off employees, including much needed inspectors in the technical services division, the administration wants to contract with a person to perform “assistant business administrator” duties to ease the load of one Dennis Gonzalez who was “promoted” last year when former Business Administrator Jane Feigenbaum left to take a job in Perth Amboy.

Interestingly, the administration’s rationale for needing to hire this consultant is so the city can draft policies and manage assets in accordance with suggestions from auditors. Specifically, the adoption of whistle blower and conflict of interest policies as well as updating and maintaining a current inventory of city assets are needed and would be the responsibility of the consultant retained to serve as assistant business administrator.

Bearing the above in mind, we ask:

What did Mr. Gonzalez do when he served as acting business administrator? Wouldn’t these policies and the inventory have fallen under his responsibilities?

If Mr. Gonzalez failed to complete the required work as assistant BA, how and why did he get tapped to move into the “Acting” Business Administrator position?

And that’s another thing: isn’t the title “acting” a provisional one good for only 90 days after which time the appointment is to be brought before council for approval? If that’s the case, does anyone remember Mr. Gonzalez’s appointment coming before council for final approval anytime since, oh say, last February?

Voting citizens of Trenton take heed. Your current city administration continues to run roughshod over the rules and procedures of the laws that govern our city. Watch closely what they do in the next few months and watch even more closely those currently on council and all who seek your favor to gain office in the coming elections.

Their actions will speak much louder than their words.

Last night, Council made an excellent point.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

As I was saying

Alexander Brown announces Mayoral bid and launches website

Last week, we started to comment on the candidacy of Alexander Brown for Mayor in the 2010 municipal elections. Unfortunately, the Trentonian's on-line glitch distracted us from the point we wanted to make.

Here is what we wanted to say at that time:

Anyone considering Mr. Brown as a viable candidate and agent for positive change in Trenton need only look at his track record of "public service" to realize he is not up to the task.

According to his website, Mr. Brown was elected to the school board twice in the 1980's. He was appointed to two consecutive terms on that body by Mayor Palmer, serving from 1990 -1996. In 1998 Mr. Brown became the Chairman of the Facilities Advisory Board: the body charged with overseeing the state funding for school construction under the Abbott Ruling. And Brown was reappointed to the Trenton School Board in 2007.

How did the schools fare during Mr. Brown's intermittent tenure on the school board?

How well did the Facilities Advisory Board handle their responsibilities under Mr. Brown? (still no resolution to the TCHS restore or build new question, the false-start of the Jefferson School project)

Yes, he's only one man. But he does not appear to be a man with any sort of workable, practical plan.

And one other thing...Mr. Brown announced his candidacy with a press release and conference on May 27 of this year. The Trentonian announced the launch of his campaign website a week ago. Yet, the Election Law Enforcement Commission website does not show any paperwork filed for his candidacy.

Mr. Brown is just another example of the kind of empty suit that hack mayors like Mr. Palmer pull out of the closet and prop up with appointments. Now Brown wants us to believe he has the goods to change Trenton for the better, but he hasn't shown us he's even capable of following the most basic of regulations for running a campaign, let alone running a city.

Alexander Brown should change his slogan from "A New Way a New Day" to "Nothing new, different day."

Friday, September 04, 2009

Duck Season! Rabbit Season!

Silly season is upon us.

South Ward Council hopeful and professional cry baby Juan Martinez is stirring the pot once again. An article in this morning’s Trentonian airs Martinez’s gripes about upcoming candidate forums.

Mr. Martinez doesn’t feel its right that “debates” should include candidates who have not been certified by the city clerk’s office. The first candidate’s night is scheduled for September 8, two days before the certification deadline of September 10.

Apparently, Martinez has forgotten that once “silly season” opens, every group and collective under the sun puts the call out to candidates to appear before them and state their case for election. In the spring election cycle, candidates are on the stump long before the mid-March certification cutoff.

Further, Mr. Martinez is complaining about the lack of neutrality of the hosting organization for the September 8 forum. He is confusing the official position of the organization, the Jersey Street Community Association, with those of individual members.

As a third complaint, only hinted at in the Trentonian piece but delved into in an email circulated by Mr. Martinez, the issues of the having a candidate’s forum in a licensed liquor establishment has been raised. The Trenton Council of Civic Associations, in conjunction with the League of Women Voters and the NAACP are co-sponsoring a candidate’s night at Katmandu and this somehow worries Mr. Martinez.

He seems to forget that a Latino social club on South Broad Street (licensed premise) hosts candidate forums during the regular election cycle. The Trenton Polish American Democratic Club (TPAD, a licensed premise) on Olden Avenue hosts candidate nights. And the Old Mill Hill Society holds their meetings, and candidate nights, at the Mill Hill Saloon (a licensed premise).

All of this points to one conclusion.

Mr. Martinez has no platform and no credentials supporting him as a valid candidate for South Ward Councilman. Instead, he has to resort to diversionary tactics in order to duck the issues.

Shame on him. And shame on anyone who takes his candidacy seriously.

NOTE: We'll address the brief mention that young Mr. Carlos Avila, former Councilman Coston's handpicked successor, has yet to commit to appearing at the Jersey Street forum later.
And we'll also get back to Mr. Alexander Brown's candidacy for Mayor at some point.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to this morning’s blog…

Trentonian online editorial glitch says it all

This was going to be an entry about Trenton mayoral hopeful Alexander Brown. Mr. Brown, currently Vice-President of the School Board, has launched the website for his upcoming run for the city’s top seat in 2010.

The Trentonian had an article in this morning’s edition about the website and we went to the online version of the paper to reference it as we began composing this post.

Unfortunately, when we clicked on the link to the story, this is what came up:

Mayoral hopeful’s site offers great expectations
Published: Tuesday, September 1, 2009
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By Trentonian Staff
TRENTON — That nitwit, grinning, needle-toothed alligator that has taken up residence in the pond on the Island’s Stacy Park is making us all look like fools!
Not the story we expected, but perhaps by some twist of editorial fate (or incompetence) it is still apropos to the point about Mr. Brown’s candidacy: it’s a joke!