Council President Paul Pintella fired a return shot Saturday at the growing activist population who made their present felt at Thursday’s long City Council meeting.
The movement happens to include young Trenton residents who are voicing their concerns about the city after only recently arriving on the scene. It seems like they saw problems in Trenton that people on City Council haven’t.
Mr. Pintella reflected in the Times of Trenton Saturday that six out of seven of the current council members had won reelection, demonstrating the city’s confidence in them as a governing body.
He then made a veiled reference to some of the younger residents who have been demanding action from their government, calling them “Johnnys-come-lately” who know nothing about where the city has come from.
Myself – Trenton Makes writer Greg Forester – and activist Paul Harris of the Trenton Rising blog are surely part of the group targetted by Mr. Pintella’s “crafty” political reponse.
Lately we have enflamed the political atmosphere of New Jersey’s capital.
Mr. Harris has even organized residents who are fed up with the condition of the city and the government leadership by holding a meeting at the State House, which I attended and thoroughly enjoyed.
So it comes as no surprise to anyone with even a small amount of intelligence that a council member who currently leads the ceremonial legislative body of Trenton City would attack these newcomers to the scene about what would seem to be their most obvious weakness.
The only problem with this attack is that like the council leader, it is quite superficial and even a small amount of logical thought and investigation quickly debunks Mr. Pintella’s comments.
First of all, any resident, regardless of standing and time actually living in Trenton has a right to speak their minds and be listened to as a resident with legitimate and credible concerns.
Secondly, it follows that surely even newcomers to the scene would investigate the facts surrounding Trenton’s situation before rabble-rousing and diving fully into remediating the situation.
Since this reporter arrived on the scene in Trenton, he has heard nearly nothing positive about the council members who have been reelected so happily by the one out of eight Trentonians who actually vote. He also used a set of eyes, ears, and what he thinks is a pretty good brain, and came to some conclusions.
This city is not what it should be.
It hasn’t been for years.
And it is continuing to slide. Crime is worse, the economic situation seems to be worsening, and the city is still a nine-to-five place where nothing is going on downtown on the weekends.
One out-of-towner asked if a neutron bomb had gone off downtown when he walked from one end of State Street to the other without seeing a moving car or another human being.
I don’t know where the city has come from since Paul Pintella got onto City Council, but there still isn’t much to show for it. The Johnnies may have arrived a little tardy to Pintella’s Trenton gig, but they are here now, and they see some serious problems.
These late guests – who seem to have crashed the party at 319 East State Street – plan to put the fire to council until they address these issues…