The state of
Mayor Tony Mack has a choice before him. He can select between receiving $22 million in state aid for the city or $16 million.
No brainer, right?
There are, after all, some strings attached to that $22 million.
In order for the city to get the higher amount of aid, the mayor must sign an MOU with the state wherein he agrees to the creation of a three person committee to oversee the process of hiring people to fill key spots in the administration. The DCA would appoint one member, the mayor, would appoint one member and city council would appoint one member.
Considering the Mack administration’s track record in selecting qualified candidates for BA and department heads, it is not really a bad idea to have an oversight committee. Just a quick recap: over a half dozen business administrators (one who pleaded guilty to stealing campaign funds); one Housing and Economic Development nominee who is a convicted felon and another who has a history of failed businesses, judgments and tax liens against her; a municipal judge appointee with her own financial problems; a municipal court director with a police record (who, by the way, has been enjoying a six week and counting paid vacation while a superior court judge determines if he is qualified for the position); serious turnover in the law department.
So, leaving the question of the personnel committee aside what are the scenarios for the two aid amounts?
- $22 million --- balanced budget, possible tax decrease, probable re-hiring of some police
- $16 million --- balanced budget, probable tax increase, no additional police
Yet the mayor can’t decide. What does that say about his ability to lead this city?
If the mayor’s apparent indecision isn’t bad enough how about this comment in today’s Times from Councilman At Large Alex Bethea:
“We certainly need the money, but I wouldn’t want to give away the whole house for an extra $6 million. You have to maintain some control, notwithstanding that we’ve made some mistakes in the past,” he said.
“If he decides that, ‘Okay, that’s okay, we’ll take the $22 million,’ then I’ll sign off. If he says this is going a little too far, then I would have to support the mayor on that decision as well,” Bethea said.
This is it
? This is the best you can do? A prideful mayor who would flush away $6 million in state aid is not fit to lead and a councilman who cannot think for himself. Trenton
But wait, there's more.
Council President Kathy McBride, in the same Times article, says she’s waiting to speak to the mayor before making any more comments on the choice of aid packages. In other words, she is waiting for Mayor Mack to tell her what to think and say as well.
At least East Ward Councilwoman Reynolds-Jackson is keeping her mouth shut on the subject...for now. Someone must have whispered in her ear that old adage about it being better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and prove it.