Friday, April 16, 2010

The blame game

"It's not my fault. I didn't cause it." --- the late George Carlin, comedian

Trenton’s lame duck city council took a double-barreled blast in the Trentonian yesterday.

In his Thursday column, Trentonian scribe L.A. Parker claimed that the five members of council who voted against the city budget demonstrated a lack of “accountability.” Parker did give the South Ward Councilman, George Muschal, a pass for only having come on board after November’s special election. He chided the other four “No” votes (Bethea, Lartigue, Melone and Segura) for passing the responsibility determining the city’s tax increase to the state Division of Local Services. Parker claims the four did not own up to their part in helping “put Trenton in this position” of begging the State for money.

It comes as no surprise that Parker did not mention at all the irresponsible and spendthrift ways of the Doug Palmer administration that for the past two years has waited until the fiscal year was more than half over before submitting a budget to city council.

Instead, Parker wrote a companion piece in which Palmer “blasts” city council’s alleged irresponsibility in the matter.

“I introduced a budget to City Council and then it was up to them to schedule meetings or hold budget workshops. The ball was in their court. I don’t want to hear anything about my Plan B,” Palmer said earlier today.

“But now we have five city council members who are attempting to point the finger at me. I made my decisions. People elected me to be a leader and that’s what I have done. Being a leader is not for the weak of heart.”

Palmer praised President Paul Pintella and at large Councilwoman Cordelia Staton for “having the guts to take responsibility for the budget.
Both Parker and Palmer seem to ignore the fact that Council cannot act on the budget until it is submitted by the administration. And Palmer should have submitted a “worst case” budget months ago and not relied upon the Supreme Court to bail him out by allowing the TWW water sale to go through without the chance of a referendum, which it didn't do.

It is just too bad Parker doesn’t decry Palmer for not accepting his share of accountability in the matter.

3 comments:

Keith V. Hamilton said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, first let me take the opportunity to thank all of you for following the issues affecting your Capital City. Information is power and the beginning of the residents of our great City becoming engaged in the political and election process. I like many of you feel that the current City Budget process should have begun to be addressed many months ago. Review of the administration’s proposed Budget is one of City Councils most essential duties. The Council is our legislative branch of City Government and serves as a check and balance on the Mayor. Without throwing stones, I believe that it is clear that Council has failed to do its job when it comes to the budget process. How many budget workshops have there been this year? Was there ever a workshop where residents could offer their opinions?

The current budget year will expire in 64 days and we, the residents of Trenton are still in a position of uncertainty regarding our actual tax bills. When the people entrust an elected official by casting a vote for him or her, they expect us to do our best for all of them, in good times and in bad.

Sure the handling of the proposed sale of the Trenton Water Works outlying infrastructure should have been handled differently. I would never have waited for the Courts on this issue. My sense is that your Government should have held many, many public hearings, both in City Hall and directly in our communities to expose all of us to all of the facts and then listened to our thoughts and concerns. Then all of us would have been empowered to make an informed decision by way of casting our votes on this referendum. If this course was taken at the outset, we would have long since known the will of the people and been dealing with real numbers in the current and future budgets rather then speculation.

Yes the Governor's current budgetary position has placed the City in a precarious position, but it is no reason for your elected representatives to fail to act. To the contrary, this has brought us as a City to a critical moment where leadership should be stepping forth and actually proposing solutions and leading us through these troubled times.

I stand ready to continue this conversation not only with all of you but with all of the candidates for Trenton's elected offices, as well as Governor Christie, his Cabinet and staff, County Executive, Brian Hughes, the County Freeholders, our State Legislative bodies and representatives and yes our federal representatives in Congress and in the White House. Theses are critical times for us. I am committed to all of you, to do whatever it may take to bring the City of Trenton out of this temporary crisis and to once again lead all of us to a brighter future.

Whoever you support in our political races, continue to remain engaged, to discuss the issues, express your thoughts and ideas, and most of all participate in our great Democratic process by voting. I will continue to talk with all of you. Feel free to contact me to discuss your thoughts and concerns at Keith@HamiltonforMayor.com. On July 1, 2010, I will begin to lead us to a brighter future. I look forward to hearing from you and listening to your thoughts and concerns. I still have hope for a brighter tomorrow. I hope you do as well. Together we can lead Trenton to a brighter future. Thank you and God bless.

Sincerely,

Keith V. Hamilton

New Trenton Mayor 2010 said...

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Take our poll about who is the most qualified mayoral candidate. Real unfettered chatter about this race. There are links to the Trentonian online and all of the Trenton Blogs. Sorry Manny no habla espanol.

Change Agent said...

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