Besides the costly, sparsely attended and almost completely un-advertised or promoted so-called Heritage Days Festival held this past weekend, two other items have come to light.
Yesterday afternoon, this unbelievably unfitting and inappropriate sign was erected over the main entrance to Cadwalader Park. (written about so well here by Kevin Moriarty). Notice, that, ugly as this sign is, it is graced with a completely out of context "Mayor Tony F. Mack" sign dangling beneath.
Photo by Kevin MoriartyWere all the proper sign-offs and approvals granted for this work?
Who gave our mayor's the right to "tag" every piece of city property possible with their name?
Yes, Doug Palmer did it too. And we didn't like it then. For a man who purports to want to be everything Doug Palmer wasn't, Mayor Mack sure likes to emulate his former boss.
Maybe it is time for the governing body (that is you, City Council), to introduce and pass an ordinance banning this kind of "naming" of city property, vehicles and such. It will be a cost saving measure because signs won't need the extra verbiage and we won't have to change them each time the mayor changes (no matter how infrequent that has been in the recent past).
Another abuse we're noticing is the mayor's seeming arbitrary policies with regards to who can use city buildings, when and how.
If you remember, the Mack administration sent consultant/volunteer Lisa Whitaker around to various city buildings to collect the keys and kick out the non-profits who were using them under agreement with the city.
Shortly thereafter came the big controversy over the Team Hope boxing program that was using the old fire house at S. Broad and Bridge Streets. Mayor Mack had the program removed from the building in response to unfounded allegations of drug use/dealing on the premises.
Now, two months after the building was emptied and the program relocated, we suddenly find boxing equipment has again been installed in the building.
A conversation we had with former Trenton police officer and Team Hope manager, Bill McLaughlin revealed it doesn't belong to him.
So who does this equipment belong to? And how did it get into the building? Has the administration issued another lease or use agreement to another entity? Has city council had the opportunity to approve of any agreement to use this facility as outlined under state statute N.J.S.A. 40:69A-36:
N.J.S.A. 40:69A-36 Legislative power
The legislative power of the municipality shall be exercised by the municipal council, subject to the procedures set forth in this plan of government. Legislative powers shall be exercised by ordinance, except for the exercise of those powers that, under this plan of government or general law, do not require action by the mayor as a condition of approval for the exercise thereof, and may, therefore, be exercised by resolution, including, but not limited to:
a. The override of a veto of the mayor;
b. The exercise of advice and consent to actions of the mayor;
c. The conduct of a legislative inquiry or investigation;
d. The expression of disapproval of the removal by the mayor of officers or employees;
e. The removal of any municipal officer for cause;
f. The adoption of rules for the council;
g. The establishment of times and places for council meetings;
h. The establishment of the council as a committee of the whole and the delegation of any number of its members as an ad hoc committee;
i. The declaration of emergencies respecting the passage of ordinances;
j. The election, appointment, setting of salaries and removal of officers and employees of the council, subject to any pertinent civil service requirements and any pertinent contractual obligations, and within the general limits of the municipal budget;
k. Designation of official newspapers;
l. Approval of contracts presented by the mayor;
m. Actions specified as resolutions in the "Local Budget Law" (N.J.S. 40A:4-1 et seq.) and the "Local Fiscal Affairs Law" (N.J.S. 40A:5-1 et seq.); and
n. The expression of council policies or opinions which require no formal action by the mayor.
The mayor does as he pleases. The council is not acting as the governing body. Once again, there is nobody left minding the store.