We know that if one utters a profanity during a public meeting, in what should be sacred chambers, that person should be ejected for the profane utterance, the breech of decorum. It's how polite society operates.
Yet, Trenton City Council chambers have lost so much dignity, largely due to the actions and inactions of some of our elected officials. One elected official in particular, council president, Paul Pintella, has relinquished his role as representative of the people to become marionette for Mayor Douglas Palmer, and in doing so, is usually combative toward, dismissive of, and certainly disinterested in many residents who are brave enough to speak during the public session of council meetings. For more on this, please hop on over to The Front Stoop. I could say more about how Pintella, the council president, the man with the microphone, the man frequently quoted in the papers, constantly belittles, interrupts, and mocks the residents of this city when they speak, as if he hasn't had enough public spotlight, but I don't want to duplicate Old Mill Hill's fantastic detailing of Pintella's arrogance. Please check out that link.
Recently, many people have crafted intelligent responses to Mr. Pintella's overconfidence and lack of commitment to the people he was elected to represent, but these sentiments have fallen on deaf ears; Pintella's continued support of the unsupportable is befuddling.
Last night during the city council meeting, Mr. Pintella had what seemed to be a harmless exchange with Trenton businessman and former mayoral candidate Frank Weeden, and Mr. Weeden ended that exchange with a surprising "Fuck you, Paul," and then excused himself from chambers, so that he didn't have to be removed by security.
Mr. Weeden knew the consequences of his words, and removed himself. But he speaks for many of us in Trenton. Many have tried — and failed — to bridge the growing gap between the people and Mr. Pintella; many have asked him to look at the mess this city is in; and the blood of this city is on the hands of the Palmer administration, and also on Pintella's, since he only does Palmer's bidding.
Pintella is the same man who told Trentonian reporter, LA Parker last night, "...there is nothing that he can say or do to me that will affect my life."
We don't all have to get along, we don't all have to agree, but one should not be so self-important, so dismissive. Pintella should have been a better listener, a better representative all along; he needed to be affected by what people were saying, long before it came to this. Frank certainly doesn't speak for everyone, but he does speak for many. Maybe there's just nothing left to say, but "Fuck you, Paul."
Fuck you, Paul, indeed.