So, is Joe Santiago the first and only member of the Palmer administration to not have a bond fide, full time Trenton residence?

Or has this disregard for the city's ordinance been a long-standing policy?

Business Administrator Jane Feigenbaum owns a house in the Mill Hill neighborhood and has registered to vote in Trenton.  Still, neighbors say she seldom visits the house more than two or three times a week.  The local riff-raff are seen hanging out on her front porch more often than she is seen visiting; the yard gets terribly overgrown each summer; and the building is in need of some basic maintenance.

Assistant Business Administrator Dennis Gonzalez also used to live in Mill Hill.  But he sold that house and moved his family to the suburbs when he left City Hall to work for the ill-fated Trenton Economic Development Corporation.  With the collapse of that entity, Gonzalez came back to the Palmer Administration but didn't move back inot the city to do so.  It wasn't until a civic group started to question his residencey that Gonzalez purchased a home in the city.

Irv Bradley, a croney of Santiago's from the Newark Police Department, was recently appointed as Communications Director (the radio room).  The Rahway resident allegedly has a deposit on a high-rise apartment near City Hall, but he was appointed in violation of basic NJ Department of Personnel Civil Service rules.

A former Communications Director  allegedly lived in Trenton, but never gave up his home in Jackson Township, NJ.

"Acting Fire Director" Rich Laird doesn't live in Trenton either.

And if this isn't enough evidence of the Palmer attitude towards the City's residency law, what about the attorney approached to be appointed head municipal judge?

As the story goes, when the subject was brought up, she reiminded the Palmer representative that she wasn't a city resident.  "There are ways around that," she was told.

History shows the Mayor doesn't care about the very law's he swore to uphold.


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Where Did They Go? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Forester   
Wednesday, 07 July 2004

"Because the attraction of industry and development is a key component to continued economic growth, the City of Trenton has been actively cultivating private development in New Jersey’s capital city. In the last four months alone the city has announced over $205 million in new developments targeting private industry tenants.”   

         - Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer in October of 2005

Fast forward to 2007, and the condition of several projects touted by the Palmer administration over the last few years.

Broad St. Bank: People have still yet to move into this gem in Trenton’s central business district, mostly due to problems with acquiring parking for the tenants and businesses leasing space in the building.   Douglas Palmer and company seem to be blind to the thousands of spaces of unused surface and deck parking all over the downtown area currently used by the state and other entities.   These lots remain empty during non-business hours and weekends.  Can Mayor Palmer and Trenton spare a space for someone wanting to live downtown?

Manex and the planned Trenton Studios:Hailed as the east coast’s film industry Mecca, all Trenton has to show for it in the present is one lousy water tower painted with the Manex logo.  Originally, the project called for converting nearly 90,000 square feet of existing industrial floor space into offices, studios and other features typical of a fully-functioning operational film studio.  Of course the plan had Manex partnering in redevelopment agreement with Mercer County and the government of Trenton led by Mayor Palmer himself. This plan - which has since fallen through under the watchful eye of the Palmer administration - would have revitalized several acres of ex-industrial property in a location across busy Route 129 from the Sovereign Bank Arena.  Instead, Trenton has yet to see anything from the company whose project was once hailed as one of centerpieces of revitalization efforts in Trenton.

Performa and their planned entertainment complex:In September of 2005, Trenton City Council received a presentation from Performa Trenton outlining their plans for the redevelopment of some of the parking space near the Sovereign Bank Arena, calling for a $45 million 250,000 square foot development consisting of nightclubs, restaurants and retail establishments, parking, apartments and a concert venue.  Construction on the project was set for the spring of 2006.  Well, the spring of 2006 has come and gone, and the winter, an additional spring, and now the summer of 2007 draws to a close.  What does the Performa development look like?  Not only does it have the appearance of the same parking area near the Sovereign Bank Arena, but it also assumed the form of little pieces of paper: delinquent tax bills that the developer has failed to pay the city, to the tune of $16,800.  Show me the money Mayor Palmer!

Trenton Town Center: In June of 2005, Trenton City Council designated Full Spectrum of NY LLC for a downtown project known as the Trenton Town Center, which would have been the largest green facility of its kind within the United States.  The $125 million 700,000 square foot development would have included some 40,000 square feet of retail, 150,000 square feet of officer space, 250 market-rate apartments, and 1,000 downtown parking spaces.  Despite research showing demand for this kind of project and a planned June 2006 date for the start of construction, once again there is finger-pointing and accusations from the developer saying the Palmer administration is at it again: dragging its feet and slowing down the wheels of opportunity for Trenton residents.  A year has gone by and the same dingy old buildings stand on the site.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 September 2007 )
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