A bizarre ordinance that does not legally authorize top Trenton officials to take extra pay was the subject of much discussion Thursday night, after the city continued its reliance on the measure as the basis for tens of thousands of dollars in extra compensation.
Communications officer Kent Ashworth handed former mayoral candidate Frank Weeden a copy of the ordinance during Thursday’s City Council meeting.
That happened after Mr. Weeden demanded answers as to how Mayor Palmer and his co-conspirators circumvented the Fiscal Control Law and the Faulkner Act in taking raises through what appears to be an illegitimate process.
The majority of City Council members, who are empowered to decide whether to approve such raises, do not recall discussions about how a tiny section of language in the ordinance somehow delivered the pay raises to officials as it simultaneously memorialized a new contract for a city union.
Further, state law experts say the city’s decision to move forward with both the raises and the union contract through such a process may make the entire contract null and void.
It may require a lawsuit to force such a ruling, as city officials refuse to acknowledge what appears to be a deliberate and arrogrant attempt to hide the pay raises from City Council members and the public at large.
As is customary, City Council has done nothing about pay raise-gate.
As is also customary, the city business administrator and former associate of disgraced and indicted Perth Amboy Mayor Joe Vas, Dennis Gonzalez, was heard snickering and insulting city residents as they complained about the pay raises at Thursday’s council meeting.
Some things never change.