Palmer to Africa, while Trenton burns

Mayor Douglas H. Palmer is taking it back to Africa on a trip with Bill Clinton this week, while his hometown continues to experience a surge in the violent crime that has become so prevalent under its longtime mayor.

Wednesday’s newspaper pages, splattered with various stories about violent crime in some city neighborhoods, also carried stories about Mayor Palmer’s decision to travel to Africa with many accentuated with pictures of Trenton’s missing mayor, in fashionable suits and designer glasses.

One conclusion that can be reached from a review of this bizarre situation is that Mayor Palmer has long outgrown his office here in Trenton. He talks about tackling environmental issues, creating so-called green jobs, and improving the conditions in the nation’s larger cities when Trenton’s streets are unsafe, the schools are ineffective, and there are not even enough people with regular jobs to support a healthy local economy.

It really looks like Trenton needs someone to take over the leadership of this city who is more local and more home-oriented. The city needs a leader that will spend their time here, rather than traipsing around the world talking about non-existent programs that offer no hope for improving the conditions of this city.

To take it one step further, the people living in the surrounding townships and the rest of the state need to also consider pushing for new leadership here in Trenton, and in many of the state’s other downtrodden urban areas.

The Trenton Water Works debacle, in which the city is preparing to sell outside water infrastructure that it never built for $100 million to a company that will jack up water rates to make township residents foot the bill, is a perfect example of the direct cost that Trenton represents to outsiders, whether nearby or far away.

Also, this faulty and ineffective leadership is not only relieving the state of around $400 million for school and municipal budget dollars annually, but it also causes greater potential for the surrounding areas to suffer.

The crime problems that fester under Mayor Palmer and former Police Director Joseph Santiago threaten to consume more of the viable areas of the city, and eventually push over the borders into the surrounding areas.

Let it be realized, that a healthy Trenton makes for a healthy Mercer County, and it starts with the people working at 319 E. State Street.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Palmer to Africa, while Trenton burns

  1. westwrdguy57

    Should be 2 terms and out for mayors in this city. It has been almost 20 long years of the same old talk. Trenton’s crime rate has worsened dramatically and taxes have gone up every single year. This summer is seeing a spate of crime rivalling that of much larger cities. Most all the large scale projects Palmer talked of were just that…talk, and most never came to fruition, 1 example, Manex. Whatever happened to the YMCA he boasted of constructing in 2002? Apex Lumber, where the Y is supposed to be built, has been razed and gone for over a decade. There is no hint of grounbreaking, just a big sign there. Waterfront Park, Katmandu and Sovereign Bank are all county owned venues, so how come the mayor claims all this credit for them? The fact they are here in Trenton had very little to do with Palmer anyway. Mr Prunetti was responsible for all of that.

    The Miller Homes on Lincoln Ave were a major flop costing us taxpayers many millions. I never could fathom all those millions approved for the long term use studies, and the construction which went on for years for 2 buildings that, shortly after all that construction the city decided to just let them be as they are.. void of people. I never saw a problem with how they were constructed anyway. What should have happpened is to make them senior housing. And all them incentives just to coax a hotel into even considering building here? Hotels generally beg to come put their sign up in your town. Most here have no clue as to the status of that hotel’s finances or whom manages it.

    I don’t know how Palmer can lay credit for much of anything around here except give himslef raises while raising our property taxes yearly, (twice this year) and now has the audacity to talk of solving all kinds of major problems in other places around the world?! Ha. Some leader who cannot even run this small city.

    Even when Art Holland was mayor he still was a mayor way too long. Armenti did manage to win a term during that time though. As I recall, during Holland’s last term, he too did his share of world travels. But there is no comparison with Palmer’s grandiose behaviour and Holland’s laid back way. From Palmer’s fashionable attire to his being chauffeured everywhere, and I mean everywhere. There is nothing in common here. Holland always maintained an open door policy. If any citizen, ANY, had problems, no appointment was ever needed to talk with him at city hall. He drove his own modest looking vehicle to and from work and was quite humble of character. He could be reached at home too at any hour. Palmer’s number is unlisted as is his address. Still in all, I believe the city went stagnant during the latter years of his term. There were no major building projects or anything else later on. The only major changes then I remember were the closing off of E. State St and the tearing down of some buildings which should have remained. Things though were a lot safer then, but there did not exist this vicious gang problem. The town was still far from a utopia but I know there are places that do come pretty close. I could go on but overall Holland was indeed a nice guy and kept the city on an even keel.

    If Palmer has had loftier political aspirations all this time, then he is wasting all of our time as an absent mayor. With all the speculation, talk, gossip, blogs, and columns over his not residing here, and you know he gets word of this, then, an honest person would go public and vehemently defend himself against these ‘lies’. People will always defend themselves no matter what.

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