The cornucopia of candidates vying for office of mayor here in Trenton has given at least one person — with access to the op-ed column of the Times formerly of Trenton — the warm fuzzies, because it supposedly shows a swelling of civic pride. I don't agree. Rather, it shows the most ambitious in this city are like a pack of hyenas (at best) vying for a dying father's throne. But this pack is also mostly self-serving and deluded, and the thought of the upcoming debates is giving me a migraine.
I'm not saying none of the current team of 10 or so is mayor-worthy. I think with some hard work, and a willingness to work with an effective group of council members, who are themselves dedicated to representing their constituents, at least one or two of the mayoral hopefuls could manage this city. And that's so far-fetched that you're thinking I'm smoking crack, right? I'm not; I'm just not inspired, which is why I introduced my pageant-style elimination process recently.
Even better, though, is a thread running at the Trenton Speaks site, where each week for the last three weeks, there's been a Survivor-style, Tribal Council elimination. Emmanuel What's His Name was the first to be voted out, and next came the Clown Prince, Paul Pintella. There's still a day or so of voting left this week, but it looks like Annette "Stand Down" Lartigue will be this week's cast-off. I encourage you to check out this discussion, and if you're a registered member of the community, to vote. It will be interesting to see if the results will reflect the reality of our election in a few months.
I realize this does not help make sense of the task ahead of us; it's just a fun diversion for now. For better election analysis, keep an eye on Dan Dodson's site; he's currently writing questions for all the candidates, including the ward and at-large hopefuls, and developing a web survey to compare them. Our pals on The Front Stoop are also endeavoring to keep everyone in this election game honest and focused. And Mister Clean, at The Bald, The Fat & The Angry, is providing some fantastic, and in my opinion, SPOT-ON color commentary for this political season. A number of civic groups are organizing debates, and some local businesses (like Classics Bookstore) are planning "meet the candidate" parties, but it's helpful to have the aforementioned websites to help sift through the rubble, before attending one of those events. There is a lot of rubble, and it's your precious time, after all.