Monday, June 14, 2010

Good luck, Trenton

The day is here. 

June 15, the date for the Trenton municipal runoff election and the day the public gets to decide on the proposed split and sell off of part of the Trenton Water Works.

Trentonians are about to make some of the toughest, most important choices in the past 20 years.

They have to choose between two former Palmer insiders/confidants for Mayor.  Tony Mack has some questionable money problems and the endorsement of the outgoing Mayor; Manny Segura is collecting full disability but thinks he can adequately fulfill the duties of a full-time (plus) Mayor.

The electorate must choose three At-Large Council reps from among six individuals.  Some are known to the populace; others not.  Juan Martinez is the purported head of a mythical community group and currently holds a patronage position with the failing city school system. Missy Balmir is a professional political hack with connections but precious little practical experience and questionable contributions from far afield from Trenton.  Darren Green is a member of the Balmir's "slate" of candidates who has raised no visible funds of his own.  Obviously not the first choices of candidates to fill the slots.

Of the three left, Phyllis Holly-Ward has some real city hall experience along with some community credentials.  Kathy McBride is outspoken and a real street campaigner who may not have a lot of depth when it comes to policy and process but she doesn't lack spirit.  Alex Bethea is a school principal who has lead the local NAACP chapter.

In the North Ward the choice comes down to New Black Panther Party member Divine Allah, aka Brian Bethea or career Democratic party person Marge Caldwell-Wilson.

The East Ward contest is between brash anti-Palmer crusader Joe Harrison and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson.  Jackson is part of the Balmir triad, a state employee and, by most accounts, a usually MIA member of the city's zoning board.

Quiet man Zac Chester is facing former school board President Joyce Kersey in the West Ward runoff. 

And then the big ticket item on the ballot:  the proposal to split off the suburban portion of Trenton's water utility to corporate giant NJ American Water.  A vote yes approves the administration's plan to cash in the money making part of the system for a one time fix of $80 million. 

A no vote leaves the system intact with all of the costs and proceeds accruing to the city and it's water customers.

The choices made on Tuesday will impact the city for decades to come, regardless of the tenure of those elected to office.

Choose wisely, Trentonians.  Not just for tomorrow, but for the future of our city.

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