Doug Palmer’s arguments don’t hold water

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.


1 Comment

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One response to “Doug Palmer’s arguments don’t hold water

  1. You are absolutely correct. Doug Palmer is either clueless or he, or someone close to him, must have some self interest in the water deal.

    Doug’s failure to take responsibility for Trenton’s fiscal problems and our recent 22% tax hike is a new low even for Palmer. Someone please hurry and send him a biography of Harry Truman and remind him that the buck stops at his desk. As the elected leader of our city he is ultimately responsible for all of the good and bad. If Doug had long ago stopped his endless self perpetuating media promotion and actually planned for Trenton’s long term viability we would not be in this mess. Doug Palmer, his administration and our worthless do nothing puppet Council are responsible for this budget problem and no one else. If Doug had spent the time to educate the electorate and present us with an unbiased fact presentation about the pros and cons of the proposed Water Sale, this problem could have been resolved months if not years ago.

    Instead Doug chose to place his judgment above that of the residents of Trenton. He has systematically hidden if not outwardly lied about the facts. Where have the public forums been to educate the residents and discuss the issue? Why is there not a link to all of the facts, including those presented by the Petitioners prominently placed on the City’s home page its website? Why, because he doesn’t want to tell you the truth. Instead he has wasted tens if not hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on needless litigation and misinformation campaigns.

    Here are some of the most relevant facts derived from reading the proposed contract. The deal is no longer for $100 million or even the $80 million as advertised. The current sale price is only $75 million. Curiously there is an additional $5 million that will be paid to certain key yet unspecified individuals. Who are they Doug? American Water does not have to buy water from Trenton for an additional 20 years; rather it is only required to purchase water from TWW for 3 years. After that 3 year period it has an option to purchase water from TWW at its sole discretion. That is right, after 3 years the payments could cease.

    The sale of TWW is a BAD DEAL for city taxpayers and should be rejected at the polls. Doug Palmer should use what little time he has left to do something good for the city rather than to waste taxpayer money promoting his personal interest. Telling the TRUTH would be a good start.

    In the meantime I would encourage all Trenton voters to reject Palmer’s politics and all members of his Council, administration and any of his current of former appointees and or friends at the polls on May 11. We need to have a clean sweep of the old failing policies and sweep in some new refreshing candidates and ideas.

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