Friday, November 02, 2012

Trenton's East's your councilwoman

The following was posted on the "Fans of Trenton's Irresponsible Blogger" page on Facebook. (reprinted with permission of the author)

I doth think she protests too much

It comes as no surprise that tonight's city council vote on the ordinance reducing the salary for the office of mayor passed 4 -3.

It is also no surprise that Alex Bethea, Kathy McBride (who both voted against the ordinance's introduction two weeks ago) and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson voted against the measure.
 What? Didn't Verlina vote FOR the intro...
duction of the ordinance last month?


The pundits and wags and odds makers said it wouldn't last. They were correct.

The East Ward councilwoman was all full of piss and vinegar tonight as she tried to explain away her change of vote. She wanted the measure pulled and made a motion to that effect.

The motion to table the salary cut was voted down along the same line as the ordinance itself later received.

Reynolds-Jackson pulled everything out of her bag of tricks to try and stop this measure from proceeding. While stating that she thought the mayor was not performing well in the job and declaring she wanted him gone as soon as possible, she invoked "due process" and worried that the salary reduction prior to the resolution of the federal case against Tony Mack might contaminate the proceedings. (Completely unrelated and no impact on the case)

She fretted over the "broad language" in the ordinance and how it might lead to future litigation. Reynolds-Jackson suggested the council would be hamstrung in adjusting the salary back up for someone "they really wanted" as mayor. (Little can prevent a lawsuit from being brought, but the odds are slim. Council would have to approve the contracts for attorney's on both sides of the case. The mayor certainly doesn't have the resources to press that case while fighting the federal case against him. And council has the statutory authority to adjust the salary either way.)

When pressed as to why she waited until just tonight to study the ordinance further, the councilwoman offered that she voted for the measure on first reading so that it could come up a second time and we could hear public comment on it.

Interesting. But there are some holes in that excuse.
  1. She could have voted against the ordinance at first reading and it would still have passed and come up for public hearing.
  2. Of the six individuals who spoke during the public hearing portion of the proceedings, only two spoke against cutting the mayor's salary. Four spoke in favor of it. And at least one additional person (Mike Walker) spoke in favor of the salary cut during the public comment portion of the meeting prior to the public hearing before the vote. More than twice as many people present tonight spoke in favor of reducing the salary for mayor as spoke in favor of it.
  3. Most interestingly, Councilwoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson asked to have the ordinance tabled for further study prior to the opening of the public hearing portion of the meeting. So she really couldn't have been all that interested in hearing what the public had to say, on the record, regarding the ordinance.
That is just the kind of misbegoten mental process that passes for "intelligent" thought for some members of this council.

Let us not overlook that tonight Ms. Reynolds-Jackson stated adamantly and repeatedly that she felt that Tony Mack has been an abject failure as mayor and she wants him gone a soon as possible. Yet, just two weeks ago, this same self-described "intelligent" elected representative who does her "due diligence" did not vote for the resolution expressing no confidence in the mayor and asking him to resign.

She had problems with the language of that piece of legislation that had no actual impact beyond being a statement of position.

It is pretty clear that Ms. Reynolds-Jackson is sitting on the fence. That is the least desirable trait anyone could want in an elected official.

My hope is that the people of the East Ward absolutely bludgeon her with the blunt instrument of her own words. She could not be more senseless.

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