In an article in this morning’s Times reporter Matt Fairhighlights the ongoing problem with the city of Trenton giving work to outside legal firmswithout city council approval.
This is improper and illegal and a problem that started in the Palmer administration and continues under Mayor Mack. It is a passive-aggressive way for the administration to get what it wants without interference from the governing body. It is a blatant circumvention of the law and it is costing the city lots of money.
We’ll spare you the lecture on the proper process that should be followed in these matters. Suffice it to say that no contract should be granted or extended without council’s approval and we have strayed far from that procedure.
Despite the fact that the contracts were granted in an irregular if not suspect manner, work was done on the city’s behalf and we (the taxpayers) are obliged to pay for it…whether justified or not.
In the article, city spokesperson Lauren Ira is quoted as saying,
“Going forward, we are working on plans to make our processes more efficient. This will involve issuing timely requests for proposals, and selecting outside counsel prior to the expiration of the then-current outside counsel’s contracts.”
It seems to us that the administration’s attempts at making their “processes more efficient” have amounted to circumventing the law and short-cutting best practices.
Maybe what Ms. Ira, Mayor Mack and company should be focusing on is making the process more compliant with state statute and good sense. And maybe they should be looking at ways to eliminate the need for these expensive contracts rather than make the process of giving them out "more efficient."