On Friday city residents fighting Mayor Douglas H. Palmer’s $80 million Trenton Water Works deal called out acting City Clerk Juanita Joyner’s office for leaking sensitive information about petitions.
Also, city officials were told that a “no” vote on a tax-laden budget in the event the deal is blocked could mean a state takeover of the city’s finances.
City Council members confirmed the ominous takeover threat to The Trentonian’s Joe D’Aquila, and Mayor Palmer canceled a Monday water deal forum because of the news a day after he sued petitioners in a desperate act to halt the petition drive. Petitioners say the deal is faulty, noting it means the city will trade a system that makes $25 million a year for a yearly deal worth less than $10 million.
Leaks from the office of Ms. Joyner, the city clerk, have provided administration officials, City Council members, and even The Trentonian’s L.A. Parker with information on the petitions, while petitioners and residents have been denied access and information, in a clear perversion of the office’s responsibilities.
The same leaks from the clerk’s office provided Mr. Parker with information that some signatures were “indecipherable”, even though such commentary is meaningless when it comes to signatures, which are frequently difficult to read and even change year to year.
The leaks and press commentary have resulted in discussions about seeking Ms. Joyner’s disqualification from certifying the petition effort.