Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do-over

We went to the East Ward CPAC meeting on Monday night, primarily so we could wish Detective Bob Russo well on his retirement, even though his retirement most likely heralds a more dismal era for residents here in Trenton. He handed out an 8-page crime report, and asked every other person to take one and share with the person sitting next to us. The city's budget cuts didn't allow him to make enough copies for all those in attendance. He also offered a much thicker document for seniors; he had even fewer copies of that, due to budget cuts, he reiterated. At that time, I counted about 35 people at the meeting; within a half hour, there were 50, most of whom were seniors. The room was PACKED. We had Matthew with us, and Glen and I were swapping in and out of the meeting to hang out with Matthew in the lobby. During my time in the lobby, a woman came out of the meeting, and asked the officer at the front desk if she could make another copy of the thick document for seniors; the officer did, but reiterated that the reason there weren't enough is because the city slashed the department's copy budget.

On Tuesday, council approved Mayor Mack's childish do-over "hire my friend's law firm" proposal. I'm trying to keep an open mind, because I don't serve on council, and I'm not privy to all the legal issues that are facing the city, but I just can't help it: it rubs me wrong that council voted down Mack's proposal to hire his friend's firm last week, yet he asked again, like my toddler might ask repeatedly for a cookie after I've already said no. I thought no meant no when it came to official legislative business? And, as others have pointed out, there might be some pay-to-play issues here, since one of the lawyers in the firm hired, Lloyd Levenson, was the chair of the mayor's inaugural ball committee.

Oh yeah, and the firm is based in Atlantic City (are city taxpayers going to be footing the bill for fuel??), and we already are represented UP THE WAZOO by lawyers. Why do we need another firm — one that is not only at the opposite end of the state, but one whose CEO is a personal friend of the mayor's — when the police department is not allowed to make 50 frigging copies of a couple of documents that will help concerned citizens and seniors? Why are we in a position to lose any police officers, particularly a really helpful one like Detective Russo, when we just took on what seems to be an extraneous law firm? It doesn't make sense from my perspective.

Yesterday I sent a message to my council representative, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, because she voted yes for this new law firm — both times: on Mack's original proposal, and on his "Mommy, PLEASE" do-over last night, and I'm hoping she might be able to explain why we need this firm. I'll post an update when I hear back from her.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's un-freakin'-believable what happened in Council. We finally get a new mayor and new council and it's just as messed up, if not more so, than when it was the Palmer regime. I'm so disappointed with Council. Because of this, and other things she's done (or not done), I definitely regret the vote I gave to one of the At-large members.

And the loss of Bob Russo is tremendous. He did so much for this city and cared so much for the citizens. He was always helpful, prompt and courteous. He will be sorely missed. I'm definitely worried about what will happen now.

Hopefully Verlina actually responds to your questions; I'm very curious.

Ms. Clean

Anonymous said...

someone tell me why if they said no last time why now it it change and say yes someone did someone did someone a favor somewhere why is he still in office anyway and why aren't we keeping trenton money in trenton instead of sending it to ac

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for what they did to bobby and trying to do with other good officers its a shame say what you want about palmer but our police director dir brady was very good I had the pleasure of meeting him and he had so much trust and faith in his Officers and they the same for him

Anonymous said...

I actually wrote a letter to her asking her why she voted the way she did. Within the first few lines of her response she accused me of personal attacks and finger pointing (neither of which occurred mind you.) Later in the response she basically stated that she did really understand the vote yet voted for it based on the facts. When I brought up to her the fact that no "not to exceed amount" was placed in the documentation, she told me she didn't realized and had asked the clerk to put it in. Who are these friggin idiots and how the hell did they get in here?