Maybe the City of Trenton is really some sort of complicated monarchy.
Now, normally here in the U.S. public officials abhor the trappings of monarchy, which bestows upon political leaders royal treatment beyond what is reasonably or logically necessary because of a perception of a sovereign and holy ability to know and do what is best for their people.
In many respects this is really what many find so revolting about the way officials in parts of Trenton’s government carry themselves under Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, who has succeeded in using his long tenure here as an excuse to establish trends and policies that resemble those of a 16th century autocratic nation-state.
It’s well-known that Mayor Palmer is driven around the city, to his child’s school, and God knows where else by a full-service detachment of detective sergeants from the Trenton Police Department who alternate the duty of driving and “protecting” the mayor from all who seek to destroy* him.
Look, all that really means is that King Doug has utilized city funds and a false sense of a threat to his security to bestow treatment that seems to approach that of royalty.
At a time of dwindling police presence and surging violent crime an executive who spends much of his time outside of his city requires armed police to drive him around and attend to him as he carries out his mayoral duties.
The alleged cause of this type of treatment – usually reserved for important public officials and members of royal families – is that a deranged man assaulted the mayor at some point.
Also smacking of some sort of royal existence is the manner in which Mayor Palmer strongly supported the idea that he had the power the bend the city’s residency laws at will, due to his position as city executive.
That’s really just the process of legislating under the strongest form of monarchy. Men rule as holy and autocratic beings with the ability to create, change, and invalidate establish law at will, like Mayor Palmer sought to do, so far unsuccessfully.
Don’t forget how city official Dennis Gonzalez, who enjoys the strong support of the King, actually threatened a city resident and now City Council candidate with a lawsuit after receiving criticism from the gentleman about Mr. Gonzalez and King Palmer’s extremely disappointing record of failure in bringing highly-touted redevelopment projects to fruition.
There is also the unnerving practice in which administration officials repeatedly disrespect City Council members through refusals to submit information and the continued emergence of disrespectful verbal exchanges with the city’s elected representatives.
Trenton needs straight forward and down-to-earth public officials, rather than a egomaniacal holier-than-thou group that thinks it knows better, and is better, than the people living here. The 2010 election is the time to make the change.
*Many seek to destroy him, but in a political sense, not a physical one.