Mayor Douglas H. Palmer showed his true colors in a Trentonian article that came out Tuesday, regarding a city proposal to cut positions and demote some staff in the Trenton Fire Department to offset years of fiscal mismanagement by the city administration.
Many in the Trenton Fire Department brass have come out against the proposals, saying during a press conference Monday that with implementation the cuts will result in a public safety problem for both city residents and firefighters.
But the vindictive Mayor Palmer responded in usual fashion, ignoring the expertise of the firefighters and their knowledge of their own jobs.
Instead, he equated their position on the cuts with a similar position taken during a round of firehouse closings in 2002, and focused on some perceived paranoid perceived slight that happened six years ago, when firefighters protesting the earlier proposal picketed the mayor’s wedding.
“These firefighters should be ashamed of themselves because they are attempting the same demagoguery and fear mongering that they used when we were forced to close several firehouses,” said Mayor Palmer, to The Trentonian’s L.A. Parker. “Residents know I would never do anything jeopardizes the safety of our citizens or firefighters.”
Those are funny words from a man who is doing just – jeopardizing the safety of citizens and firefighters – by proposing significant staffing cuts to an already stretched-thin city fire department, in a city with old housing stock and a high frequency of house fires.
Those words are perhaps even funnier when one remembers how quick Mayor Palmer and his own supporters are to engage in their own fear mongering, like when the mayor and others invoked the specter of phantom racist cops and a “good ole’ boys” network” when city residents like me went after his pet police directors for blatantly breaking the city’s residency law.
Mayor Palmer, quite simply, is an opportunist and career politician willing to take any position on any issue for his personal benefit, whether it’s residency, Barack Obama’s candidacy, or even the public safety of his own city residents.
Articles like today’s make that reality clear for all to see.