One line of questioning that has been conspicuously absent in media coverage of the ongoing controversy of Police Director Joseph Santiago’s non-residency in Trenton is clarification over Mayor Douglas H. Palmer’s often misleading and contradictory statements over the city’s residency ordinance.
The city executive initially stated that he believed he did indeed have the power to grant extra-legal waivers to city employees for special reasons, in Santiago’s case citing continued harassment and threats and a curious inability to afford a home in Trenton.
Mayor Palmer has threatened continued court action and mounting lawyer’s fees should the council move to use their statutory ability to remove the director for his continued violation of city law.
Then the mayor said the ordinance warranted revision, due to what he called the law’s confusing nature, supporting calls for an amendment to the law proposed by his right-hard man on City Council, President Paul Pintella.
Well, which is it mayor?
First the mayor comes in an angered and irritated state to City Council, threatening to drag out the matter in the court due to your sovereign right to grant waivers that are nowhere enumerated within the law.
Then he advocates revising the ordinance to include provisions legalizing waivers through an advice and consent procedure similar to many mayoral appointments.
This constant contradictory braying – by someone who continues to maintain an image of some sort of strutting ass – sure makes it sound like Mayor Palmer doesn’t have a leg to stand on.