Trenton’s chief of staff stonewalled City Council members and the public in typical Palmer administration fashion again on Thursday regarding a succession plan for ousted Police Director Joseph Santiago.
“Mayor (Douglas H.) Palmer will make an announcement at the appropriate time,” said Chief of Staff Reneee Haynes during Thursday’s doubleheader council meeting.
The embattled director will vacate his post in under 45 days following two consecutive court rulings ordering him to do so, for his willful violation of the city’s residency ordinance by living in Stirling, N.J., instead of inside the capital’s borders.
Although half of the director’s court-ordered 75 day transition period has lapsed, neither City Council members nor regular city residents have the faintest idea of who will succeed Mr. Santiago or how the transition will occur.
That is particularly insulting, given the dire state of public safety in the capital city of late, at a time when Mr. Santiago is said to be present at his post quite infrequently.
City Council members ought to consider using their statutory abilities to send a message to the administration showing that they mean business.
They could vote to remove Mr. Santiago, or perhaps some other administration official, to make it clear that they deserve to be informed on the progress of the court-imposed transition process as representatives of the people of the city.