Like many in the city, I nearly spewed all over my computer after watching video of Mayor Douglas “Hunterdon” Palmer’s lame blame game show at City Hall yesterday.
The Trentonian dutifully recorded Mayor Palmer as he skewed, lied, and bent the truth about the city’s budget and the Trenton Water Works fight in front of a crowd of seniors, many of whom were just socked with massive tax increases thanks to Mayor Palmer’s 20-year reign of mismanagement in Trenton.
First off, the mayor parroted the “new” math of the sale, saying it will net the city $400 million. No one knows where this new number came from, but using the city’s own math, it stands within reason that without the sale the city stands to make $800 million in revenue during the same time period, using the same rate of inflation. So that takes care of that.
Then Mayor Palmer, of course, cast the blame for a 59-cent tax increase not onto his own shoulders but instead cast it in the direction of a small group of petitioners who saw fit to challenge the city’s misguided decision to sell off the bulk of the Trenton Water Works for a one-time, $80 million payment.
Mayor Palmer, who sued the petitioners and dragged out the fight longer than necessary, failed to explain why he didn’t at least plan for the possibility that the sale would not be complete by the end of this fiscal year. He also failed to explain why he didn’t cut the budget down to an acceptable level to account for the possibility that some court might force the issue to go to a referendum.
Going further, Mayor Palmer also failed to explain why he has not instituted austerity measures within his own bloated administration that may have lessened the tax burden, such as:
- eliminating his two-man chauffeur/protection squad
- doing away with unnecessary, highly compensated positions like the chief of staff
- ending the practice of allowing city employees to use city vehicles for personal use
- or God forbid, moving to repeal a series of illegal pay raises he and other high-ranking city officials took in 2008
I guess you could say he failed.
You see Doug, people in Trenton have gotten wise when it comes to your misinformation and mind tricks.