Ousted gang consultant Barry Colicelli has been showing up for work at his City Hall office in his city car despite the fact that City Council ended his relationship with Trenton last Thursday by voting not to renew his contract, city sources said Monday.
It appears that administration officials working under Mayor Douglas H. Palmer have told Mr. Colicelli to stay on and continue working for taxpayer dollars despite the fact that a majority of City Council properly exercised their statutory powers and rightfully prevented what had become an unnecessary drain of resources for a contract that simply wasn’t in the interests of Trenton residents.
Councilmen Manny Segura, Milford Bethea, Jim Coston, and Gino Melone should be commended for their actions, and those voting in favor of of the contract need to be reprimanded for failing the residents and taxpayers in a most miserable way.
But the council members voting against the contract and what it represented need to recognize what is now happening, in response to their suddenly-potent drive to do what is right for Trenton.
The city government under Mayor Palmer – with the presence in City Hall of a contractor who no longer works for the city – continues to show an absolute disregard for American ideals of checks and balances and the separation of powers that were so carefully placed in the form of government used by Trenton and other New Jersey municipalities under the Faulkner Act.
City Council’s will is being openly violated but its members share part of the blame for the current situation in Trenton, because they have allowed the administration to operate in this arrogant manner for so long.
They have rarely questioned what Mayor Palmer and his officials have done until recently, and they continue to do the city’s business unaware of what they could and should do in response to the tactics of the other branch of government.
At their fingertips they have the ability to subpoena anyone, remove city employees for cause, refuse advice and consent on mayoral appointments, and use the power of their votes to deny any administration initiative or action, effectively halting the mayor in his tracks.
With that in mind, these city representatives need to see that the mayor is playing hardball with the interests of city residents and their elected officials on City Council, and has been for some time.
City Council must continue their current streak of good decision-making, and play hardball right back, or otherwise face total abdication on city matters while simultaneously failing at what they swore to uphold the day they entered public office.
The only entity with any power to stop the faulty leadership of the Palmer administration is City Council, and in this kind of political game a lot of important things are at stake, especially for a city with a resume of problems like Trenton, New Jersey.