In talking with someone about the state of the City of Trenton Wednesday, it was quickly agreed upon that Mayor Douglas H. Palmer is a complete disgrace to both the city and the rest of New Jersey.
His handling of the Joseph Santiago residency matter and his response to what has arguably been the greatest political defeat of his 18 years in office shows Trenton and the rest of the world exactly what kind of man they are dealing with, who just happens to occupy the most powerful municipal office in the city.
It should not be forgotten that in defense of this single city department director, Mayor Palmer committed what should be an unforgivable sin by reversing decades of residency-related policy.
The result of that policy cannot be forgotten: the wanton destruction of the livelihood of dozens of city employees.
His argument that the residency ordinance that he had so faithfully utilized to fire employees and go after opponents was invalid paints Mayor Palmer as nothing more than a two-faced, lying politician who doesn’t deserve to be the mayor of the smallest hamlet in New Jersey, let alone one of its most important cities.
Mayor Palmer’s legal defense flew in the face of nearly everything he has advocated or defended in both enforcing residency laws and his own pursuit of a police department led by a civilian Police Director.
Mayor Palmer previously told us that residency is important by both edict and example.
He fired numerous employees over residency, while issuing memorandums stressing how crucial it was for city employees to maintain a bona fide residence within this great town.
Mayor Palmer told us that he wanted a Police Director so he could make the department more accountable. Ironically, he went as far as saying he wanted a civilian director so he could make whoever it ended up being live within Trenton’s city limits, as a part of this community.
Neither of those things happened when Mr. Santiago became Police Director. Trenton got a police department that was more political and less accountable, led by a man living 50 miles away.
Mayor Palmer recently questioned the celebratory attitude of many in the city following the ouster of Mr. Santiago, and said that he was concerned for public safety in the city following Mr. Santiago’s removal.
Sorry Dougie Do Little, but Mr. Santiago’s removal is a cause for celebration.
It means an end to one of the worst and most controversial periods of time for the Trenton Police Department.
Perhaps more importantly, it means the rule of law has been restored in this city.
Police officers can return to police work, instead of worrying about their jobs or being relegated to worthless midnight shifts.
Residents will no longer have to deal with a politicized department led by a well-dressed clown who repeatedly lied to their faces with statements about how “crime is down, crime is down.”
Mayor Palmer’s about-face reveals him to be nothing more than a liar who is willing to sell out his own creed – and his constituency – over the fate of a single favored employee and a court victory over his own residents.
Mayor Palmer and his supporters in all levels of government simply cannot be trusted. Voters need to remember that in the 2010 election.
Until these lying and cheating politicians are removed from power Trentonians cannot even hope to emerge from the the lowest point of prosperity, happiness, and general well-being in the city’s history, namely the Dark Ages under King Palmer.