As everyone in Trenton knows the field of candidates for the mayor’s position and City Council grows daily, fueled by the looming exit of 20-year city leader Mayor Douglas H. Palmer.
Unfortunately – yet expectedly – little substantive information has come out of the various campaigns regarding important issues, such as strategies for reviving Trenton’s economic engine, attracting middle class-families back into our neighborhoods, addressing crime and quality-of-life issues.
We know little about the feelings of our leaders on such controversies as the Trenton Water Works sale, the unequal enforcement of residency requirements for employees, or the general mismanagement of city coffers by the current administration.
These issues need to be addressed by this crowd of candidates publicly if Trenton has any hope of drafting a new class of leaders in 2010 to finally end the decades-old slide of New Jersey’s proud capital city.
Civic groups from across the city – despite their difference – ought to organize an ultimate forum or series of forums where these and other questions of importance can be answered, as May is rapidly approaching and we have little idea as to how these potential leaders intend to make our city a better place to live.
Perhaps they are afraid of these issues, or wish to avoid them, as City Council apparently did during its most recent session.
They were supposed to deliberate on a citizen-initiated ordinance seeking to regulate and eliminate the distribution of expensive vehicles to department directors and other employees who can easily conduct their business out of their own personal vehicles for fair reimbursement.
Instead of deliberating and passing this common-sense initiative – which I helped organize – there was reportedly a jumbled discussion and tabling of the measure, despite statutory requirements to act on the ordinance in a timely fashion.
Such treatment of a positive city ordinance indicates the importance of forcing city candidates to clearly state their positions on issues of importance, since May 2010 promises to be an important point of time for the history of this city.
Either we continue our extended decline, and begin the climb out of the hole.
The only way to do the latter is to know what our candidates intend to do if elected to office prior to pulling the lever.