Mayor Douglas H. Palmer has turned throwing people under the bus into an art form over his 20 years in power in New Jersey’s capital city.
The latest victim of his uncanny ability is Adrienne Hayling, the president of the Trenton Free Public Library’s board of trustees. She has been targeted for blame in the ongoing library foundation saga, in which the board refuses to accept accountability in return for thousands of dollars in desperately needed funding from a citizens’ foundation.
Ms. Hayling, a purebred Palmerite, may bear some of the blame for the persistent stonewalling the library foundation received at the hands of the board. In reality, however, the board is made up of mayoral appointees. In fact, it is a badly kept secret that when it comes to the treatment of the foundation the president has been receiving all of her instructions from Mayor Palmer himself.
It comes as no surprise that now, as the shit hits the fan and the foundation prepares to disband, Mayor Palmer is laying the blame at Ms. Hayling’s feet instead of his own.
The foundation, in opting to disband rather than continue on with the delays and maltreatment its members received at the hands of the board, effectively called Mayor Palmer’s bluff and has now made the board look like a ship of fools for refusing to accept assistance.
Now, with Ms. Hayling’s body placed squarely in the path of the oncoming Mayor Palmer Express, it appears the board has suddenly accepted some measures of accountability in an eleventh-hour bid to shield itself from public scorn.
Foundation members, prior to accepting the agreement, need to consider the past eight months of treatment as well as their future prospects for avoiding mistreatment or board-authored shenanigans.
Mayor Palmer and his people certainly don’t have a great track record.