Trentonian columnist L.A. Parker used several column-inches in his newspaper Monday to lend a hand in Mayor Douglas H. Palmer’s all-out assault on the Mack family here in Trenton.
Citing anonymous sources, Mr. Parker wrote that Raphiel Mack – brother of mayoral candidate, Mercer County freeholder, and ex-Palmer friend Tony Mack – has an arrest record including several assaults, although the article seems to say that none of the arrests resulted in convictions.
The piece comes after Raphiel was suspended from the Trenton school district after an incident in which he allegedly broke the arm of a young student during instruction, although Raphiel has yet to go to trial.
While there may have been some validity to writing a piece about the arrest history of a district employee now facing charges stemming from the alleged injury of a young Trenton student, Mr. Parker also used the column to gratuitously link Raphiel to his brother Tony, who fell out of favor with Mayor Palmer and has been suffering the consequences ever since.
The repetition of linking Raphiel to his brother Tony certainly looks like some attempt to further compromise the Mack family name in Trenton, and judging from Mr. Parker’s close relationship with Mayor Palmer, it could be that there is some sort of Palmer-endorsed public relations campaign being waged following Raphiel’s recent arrest.
Mayor Palmer has a long history with Tony Mack, who at one time was the heir-apparent to Trenton’s longtime mayor. That changed when Mayor Palmer decided to run for the mayor’s seat in 2006, after telling Tony he was free to run and take over the reins of power at 319 E. State Street, according to court documents.
People familiar with the situation said that Tony refused to exit the mayoral campaign, which launched a feud between the two men that continues to this day. That feud resulted in the costly liquidation of Trenton’s recycling program, which Tony directed.
This allegedly “green” city government announced that the program was to be disbanded, and that the administration had coincidentally found positions elsewhere in the city government for every recycling employee, that is, except for Tony.
The city still feels the consequences of what certainly appeared to be a politically-motivated decision to this day.
Trenton loses hundreds of thousands of potential dollars in lost recycling revenue and pays roughly $500,000 a year for outside recycling services. The so-called environmentally-friendly Palmer administration does not even recycle at city facilities, according to city employees, in what looks like a cost-cutting measure designed to reduce the expenses incurred from having outsourced city recycling operations, because of what one judge saw as a political vendetta.
In fact, there are reports that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of revenue-generating recycling equipment purchased for Tony Mack’s use a few years ago sit unused in a warehouse somewhere, after the city never took delivery of the goods after disbanding the recycling program.
You gotta hand it to Mayor Palmer.
He certainly knows how to play all-out hardball, with little regard for the good of his name or the good of his city.