Time for a full-time mayor, police director

A barrage of violent crime continued to plague some of Trenton’s more crime-ridden neighborhoods this weekend, with a variety of shootings, stabbings, robberies, and assaults occurring intermittently while Mayor Douglas H. Palmer and former Police Director Joseph Santiago presumably spent their time outside the city, in Hunterdon and Morris counties.

Considering the crime problem and the variety of other afflictions that plague this great city, it really begs the question: when are the residents of Trenton going to move to get people into positions of power that actually care about the city enough to live here and spend their time here, even on the weekends?

The omnipresent crime plaguing the city’s worst neighborhoods has not improved under Mr. Santiago. In fact, the argument should be made that the further slipping of once-viable neighborhoods and the cut in manpower on the streets under the director mean he has been worse for Trenton than many of his predecessors.

With regards to Mayor Palmer, the mere fact that he is unwilling to spend more of his time in his hometown and the city he now leads immediately makes him an inferior leader. A leader that spent more time here, assessing the everyday problems and spending more time solving them would be more appropriate to lead Trenton.

These days Mayor Palmer appears to be living the life of a state worker, spending Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., working for the city, then having his city-funded police escort whisk him away on weekend days and at many other times.

Just like many state workers, it appears that Mayor Palmer has refused any thought of leading a life as a full-time Trenton resident, instead choosing to treat the city like so many others: as a place of work, and not a place of life.

It’s high time that the city get a new leader who will actually take part in living here, rather than treating it simply as a workweek-long place of employment.

A leader needs to understand what life here is like, and the problems that face the city 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just like the 85,000 others who actually make this place a full-time place of residence.


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