(Philadelphia, PA) – Watching from Philadelphia, I cannot help but conclude that the continued plunge of Trenton’s Tony Mack administration seems to be taking on additional downward velocity.
A lawsuit filed this week by esteemed former city attorney George Dougherty alleges behavior that may very well be criminal. A city employee who refused to circumvent public bidding law, hire preferred Mack cronies, and funnel money to the same, was terminated, according to the documents filed in Mercer County Superior Court.
It’s amazing, but as someone who dealt with Trenton’s previous Palmer Administration, I think I can honestly say that if I were living in Trenton I would rather live under the arrogant Douglas H. Palmer than the arrogant AND incompetent Tony Mack.
It’s important to note the problematic fact that city voters followed up their support of the five-term Palmer administration, which oversaw a continued 20-year decline of the city, by supporting the amazingly incompetent and calamitous Tony Mack.
This should give pause to anyone who has confidence in the ability of the Trenton political system to elect the kind of leader needed to turn the city around and actually make progress against its many problems.
Trenton cannot hope to make any progress on crime, poor schools, inadequate employment opportunities, and all the other symptoms of urban blight without an innovative and competent mayor.
The question is this: will the power brokers, as well as the electorate of the city, ever be able to select someone other than a candidate who is seen as the heir apparent or most likely to pony up city contracts and taxpayer money to campaign contributors?
Maybe the Tony Mack disaster will help provide a positive answer to this important question during the next election.