Battle lines drawn at council Thursday

Public outcry over the Joseph Santiago residency-flap reached the boiling point tonight at City Council, with the governing body listening to numerous residents speak out against the illegal nightmare that continues to haunt Trenton municipal government.

Council members were informed of the imminence of a lawsuit seeking the ouster of Mr. Santiago because of continued disregard of the city’s residency law for city employees, to be filed by residents sickened by the city’s inability to even follow the most simplest of laws and procedues in a fair and legal fashion.

Also, a petition of around 700 signatures was shown to council, after being gathered over the last five days.

Palmer administration influence – in the form of discussions about amending the ordinance to provide a legal avenue for the mayor to grant waivers to favored employees – was also dealt a death-blow Thusday.

The residents assured the council that any such measures would be quickly met with a second, official protest petition with an expressed goal of putting an amended and weakened residency law to a citizen vote, and then in the trash can.

Residents from Villa Park, Wilbur II, Chambersburg, Franklin Park, South Trenton, Mill Hill, Glen Afton, and the Island gathered the informal first-run of the petition, which was distributed with an eye to evaluating just how effective city residents could gather voter signatures in the event of a true threat, like the proposed ordinance amendments.

Simultaneously, a petition/lawsuit committee is being formed, with a dual nature of overseeing a second official petition drive and forming an official body of plaintiffs for the citizen-based lawsuit seeking to vacate the office of Police Director, held illegally by Mr. Santiago.

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