Councilwoman and likely mayoral hopeful Annette Lartigue berated a city resident last week, mentioning “the silly season,” when the gentleman brought up the council’s idiotic passage of a $75,000 contract for a friend of Business Administrator Dennis Gonzalez during council public comment.
What’s funny about bizarro-world Trenton is that sometimes it always feels like silly season, given the conduct of our elected officials and their associates.
But now it’s actually true, judging from the calls I have received from prospective mayoral candidates.
Yet I don’t want it to be a silly season.
Instead, I would rather have a productive season in which Trenton gets a new city government that is up to the task of revitalizing our city’s economic engine.
Some groups have already emerged with a stated goal of handling that task – see Dan Dodson’s Reinventing Trenton entry for more on that – but like he said, I think their system is set up for failure for many of the reasons he sets forth.
That’s why I think it’s going to be extremely important for Trenton’s civic stalwarts to somehow unite behind a certain candidate who is both promising, and more importantly, ELECTABLE.
There may be several “promising” candidates who emerge as the May 2010 election rolls closer but they will have no shot at overwhelming the gathering forces of the status quo.
Thus they deserve no consideration from anyone serious about changing Trenton.
Unfortunately Trenton’s eventual savior likely faces a status quo candidate who will likely have a sizable financial advantage. More importantly, they will probably be a current member of the city government, either working in the administration or on City Council.
An administration “quo” candidate is frightening because they will have some of the power normally wielded by an incumbent mayor – like using public works employees to remove the campaign signs of adversaries or soliciting assistance from our city’s sizable public workforce.
To defeat such a menace Trenton’s most civic-minded residents, plus A LOT of newcomers, need to democratically unite behind a candidate and then throw all of their weight behind getting that person elected.
Unfortunately the first step is identifying this person.