Monthly Archives: March 2011

Is there a Chief of Staff in the house?

TRENTON – So Trenton Mayor Tony Mack wants to bring on Paul Sigmund as Chief of Staff.  Remember this office?  It was Renee Haynes’ position in the Palmer administration…the one Mayor Tony Mack said he wasn’t going to fill.

Besides the obvious broken campaign promise, another point comes to mind.

It is based on information in today’s Times of Trenton story and regards Mr. Sigmund’s stated intention of signing an apartment lease to comply with the city residency ordinance.

If I remember correctly, the Chief of Staff takes over as mayor when Mack is out of town.  That point becomes a big, fat red flag if the office is filled with someone who is simply “signing a lease” to comply with residency.  And what’s worse, this is a red flag that adversaries will take advantage of, quite easily.

This is not a Doug Palmer situation, where there is a large, owner-occupied home that is being used, at least somewhat.

And no, I am not invoking the dreaded “L” word – lawsuit.  But a lack of legal papers doesn’t negate the fact that it will be quite easy for people to attack Mack and score quick political points.

They can attack Mack’s willingness to bend residency rules to take on a political scion with potential baggage, of all things.

Why would anyone care about this?  Sure – it’s fair to say that Mayor Mack has certainly been a deserving figure of criticism, with all of his gaffes.  But deep down, one should hope that he’ll get his act together and help Trenton.

Wouldn’t such a turnaround be easier without distractions, like bringing in people whose residency, name, and past will become political fodder?

It’s not even about residency…even if Sigmund accidentally made it so with his newspaper comments.  This guy has deep political roots, and they’re from Princeton, not Trenton, and that has already made many uneasy.  There is the whole “whoops, I was seriously injured when I rode on the outside of a NJ Transit train” incident, as well.

Instead of focusing on the residency technicality, I am wondering aloud…maybe, after all the failed nominees and officials, Mack should look for a strings- and backage-free candidate who comes from a place called Trenton.

Just a thought…

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Budget workshop coming to your ward

TRENTON – Concerned residents will be holding a series of City Budget Workshops at locations throughout the city, from now until March 16.

All residents are urged to attend.  As workshop leader and city businessman Dan Dodson says, Trenton’s budget is its most important tool for attracting residents, businesses, and desperately needed revenue to the City of Trenton.

As years of inept governing and budgeting have proven, it is time to make the residents’ voices heard.  But to properly sculpt a budget that appropriately addresses the needs and desires of Trenton residents, citizens must speak up!

Therefore, workshop organizers and city officials are urging all city residents to attend at least one session to offer input on the budget.

Organizers have invited City Council members from each ward to the meetings, and their attendance is expected.  All workshops will cover the same information and will be held from 6:30pm – 9:00pm (see below).

o South Ward – Wednesday, March 9th at The Millhouse, 325 Jersey Street

o East Ward – Monday, March 14th at the Infinity Lounge (previously Roman Hall), 100 Whittaker Avenue

o West Ward – Wednesday, March 16th at Grace Community Church, West State Street and Hermitage Avenue

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