Cut the fat, or get out

If only Trenton City Council members showed as much backbone when dealing with the Palmer administration as they did Tuesday when they grilled leading school officials about plans to lay off more than 100 teachers and slash other employment, as a result of flat state funding.

Complaints leveled at Superintendent Rodney Lofton by council members during their Tuesday meeting centered on the district’s bloated administration, which includes dozens of overlapping administrator positions, few of which are targeted during the planned culling of employees.

Such complaints are odd from a group of legislators who often refuses to take up their duty in giving the Palmer administration a healthy dose of checks and balances, a category of actions that includes firing disrespectful officials and eliminating redundant positions.

This council has often been confronted by both categories of public servants, yet has frequently refused to do anything more than complain or raise token resistance, even at times when administration officials show extreme disrespect towards council members.

New council members making up the body starting in 2010 need to have more courage and willingness to exercise their statutory powers in removing officials and cutting positions that Trenton just doesn’t have the money to support.

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