There have been numerous reports in recent days saying that the important City Clerk position is to be given to current Councilwoman Cordelia Staton, in a move that would only further cement Mayor Douglas H. Palmer’s power in the City of Trenton and beyond.
The appointment of Cordelia Staton – who owes her position in Trenton government to Mayor Palmer’s endorsement and her involvement in the Police Director debate some years ago – would only serve to strengthen Mayor Palmer by placing a crony in a position that requires some independence and neutrality.
The City Clerk position has been open since the retirement of Clerk Anthony Conti last year, and the City Council was to review candidates for the position at the July 19 meeting.
The City Clerk has been described as the “secretary of the corporation that is the City of Trenton” by someone familiar with the situation, and is a position that functions by normally staying aloof of influence from other portions of the government.
This function would obviously be compromised by the appointment of someone who owes her position to the administration, in a position where one can easily be removed if they don’t toe the line of the status quo.
While the council will probably review resumes for the position during the July 19 meeting, this action will probably be simply for show, especially if reports are true that say that Mayor Palmer and a faction of City Council have already come to an agreement on Ms. Staton’s appointment.
While there have been reports of interest in the position by Councilman Gino Melone and Council President Paul Pintella, it seems the appointment has ultimately been given to another true “Palmer” slate member, Cordelia Staton.
Anonymous sources said there has already been discussion and Ms. Staton already has the requisite votes on council to deliver her the position and its six-figure salary.
Sources very close to these City Council members said they have heard Ms. Staton is already taking classes for the City Clerk exam, in preparation for a preconceived vote during the August City Council meeting.
With Ms. Staton’s departure from City Council, the remaining members would need to appoint a new member to take her place until a special election could be held.
It seems those candidates that came the closest to Ms. Staton’s vote total in the 2006 election would be most likely to win the position in the new election.