Usually, when Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer talks about the residents of Trenton, in a general sense, he does so with relative respect. He will not jeopardize our safety, our well-being, our interests, when he's giving his big grandiose speeches. But when he's pushed up against the wall, his actions clearly show, among other things, a complete disinterest and lack of concern for the hallowed residents of Trenton.
Doug claims he's concerned for our safety, which, in his opinion, is why we need Police Director Joseph Santiago at police headquarters, even more than we need reasonable taxes, or ownership of our city's resources. And Joseph Santiago is a dude who has made it clear — in action and deed — that his first priorities are definitely not inside Trenton, and definitely have nothing to do with the safety of the residents. Recall his, "My family is first, second, and third" comment late last year?
Many of the revered residents of Trenton, along with most of their elected representatives on council (save for self-serving, egomaniacal, poorly behaved, blowhard Paul Pintella) are in disagreement with Mayor Palmer about the awesomeness of Joseph Santiago; there are others who don't doubt Santiago's awesomeness, but feel he needs to live in the city of Trenton, per the ordinance that applies to his job description.
Doug Palmer, despite the tender place in which he holds the residents of this city (when it suits him), has been absolutely unwilling to serve his people well in this Santiago matter, and instead, has allowed a lawsuit to filed by the residents, citizens of Trenton who just want the Mayor to enforce the residency ordinance which applies to Santiago's position. And after last night's city council vote in which the majority of members made it clear that they believe there should be no exceptions to the residency ordinance, Palmer became defiant and impetuous, insisting that the city needs Santiago — regardless of where he lives — and he is willing to fight council, and his beloved residents of Trenton on this.
The whole thing smells funny, and makes me wonder why Doug is fighting so hard for Santiago, a dude who does not have mutual feelings for Doug or Trenton. After all, why would Doug need Santiago more than he needs the support and respect from the very people he represents, who number in the tens of thousands? It's simple math: Doug's got one little guy on one side, and tens of thousands of people on the other, so it's baffling he'd side with the one little guy, when there are no logical or moral reasons to do so. I don't mean to be crude, or so damn obvious, but does Joe have lewd photos of Doug from some "fishing trip"?
Maybe Doug is fighting his hallowed residents so hard because he knows it will take a couple of years — at best — to settle Santiago's residency issue in the courts, at which time, he'll be gone from Trenton? Or maybe he's using Santiago like a shield: he figure if he fights this battle, the citizens won't focus on Palmer's own lack of residency?
Palmer has made it abundantly obvious that he really doesn't care about the residents, but rather, only cares about his own agenda and desires*, which are quite possibly incompatible with the needs of the city. The mayor has proved himself to be irrelevant and hypocritical** and we need to keep talking about this so our needs get met at some point in the near future.
By the way, city council members (except for Paul Pintella), thanks for doing the right thing.
* His own agenda and desires likely include, but are not limited to, maintaining his sweet crib in Hunterdon County, riding Hillary's coattails, and jet-setting around the country so he can schmooze with a bunch of other mayors who have probably left their citizenry in the lurch, too, while they schmooze it up.
** Didn't Doug recently get all sanctimonious on us about how he was going to make Trenton greener? If so, why is he pushing his hand-picked school board to approve the demolition a perfectly good high school building, which has served students for 75 years, instead of repairing it? The city will probably be replacing it with a building we will likely pay too much for, which will make our taxes skyrocket, and it certainly won't last 75 years. Good one, Doug. You have a real eye for the future.