It seems At-Large Councilwoman Cordelia Staton and Council President Paul Pintella jumped the gun in attacking South Ward Councilman Jim Coston about posting a public document on his Web site this week.
The document was a letter from Mayor Douglas H. Palmer threatening City Council members with the firing of city employees who are living outside of Trenton and outside of the city’s residency law. It was not a private letter, and it ended up being published in the Times of Trenton as an Op/Ed piece.
But it seems that Mayor Palmer’s City Council lackeys were not informed about the mayor’s plans to have the letter published in one of Trenton’s two newspapers.
The two prematurely went into attack mode about Mr. Coston’s posting of the letter on his Web site.
They said Mr. Coston violated council protocol agreed upon for the Joseph Santiago residency case, which continues as Mayor Palmer and the director seek a stay and appeal of an earlier decision to oust the director.
Mr. Coston has always expressed a desire for more open and transparent government, while other council members seem content in following Mayor Palmer’s lead in running a city government in the shadows and behind closed doors, while the public is left with little to no knowledge about what occurs at City Hall.
Perhaps the Palmer machine and its allies would be better served by maintaining better communication, before jumping on such an exemplary city representative as Mr. Coston, who was only doing his constituents and the rest of the city residents a favor by posting the mayor’s letter about changing an ordinance that could affect the lives of many a Trentonian.
Mr. Pintella also seems to be an unlikely candidate to be crying about so-called council protocol, when he authored his own protocol mishap this week by rescinding a council resolution calling for an appearance by officials from. K. Hovnanian.
Single council members – even the president – do not have the ability to unilaterally rescind a council resolution that successfully passed on a vote.
Please remember protocol, Mr. Pintella.