In proceedings reminiscent of the botched Barry Colicelli gang czar vote, once again those members of council who would do Mayor Douglas H. Palmer’s bidding held up a vote Thursday when it appeared they didn’t have the votes necessary for the motion to carry.
On the table was an idiotic appropriation to spend $200,000 of cash-strapped Trenton’s dollars on new Springfield handguns for the Trenton Police Department, when the current provider, the Glock company, has offered to replace all the current weapons for free.
With the motion on the table, West Ward Councilwoman Annette Lartigue began a vote-interrupting interview of Chief of Staff Renee Haynes, who once again fudged reality by offering the city’s legislative body biased information, in a feeble attempt to manipulate the vote.
When asked if there was an offer to replace all of the Glocks for free, Ms. Haynes replied that there was no official offer that she knew of, and the only offer on the table was to replace the current weapons with Springfields, with their $200,000 price tag.
South Ward Councilman Jim Coston quickly pointed out that former Police Director Joseph Santiago, while making a presentation on the Springfields last week, admitted that after the Springfield process had begun Glock had in fact come in with the offer to replace all the department’s guns for free.
What transpired next was truly typical of City Council proceedings under President Paul Pintella. First both Ms. Lartigue and Mr. Pintella asked Special Counsel Joe Alacqua what they could do with the resolution, with Mr. Alacqua responding with the obvious administration line.
He told the council members that it would be “strange” if they rejected the Springfield offer in anticipation of accepting the “unofficial” and free Glock offer.
Then things really unraveled, with Ms. Lartigue, Mr. Pintella, and Mr. Alacqua conducting a 10-minute private sidebar about how to proceed with the motion, apparently fretting over the lack of support for purchasing the Springfields.
Ultimately they decided to withdraw the motion, and called on the former police director to return to council next Tuesday for a rehash of his presentation, and a hopefully more favorable vote for the Palmer and Santiago faction.
These people continue to make a mockery of the city’s legislative body, and it is high time for change here in Trenton, in many levels of city government.