Dan’s Candidate picks

I’ve been voting candidates off the island on FaceBook.  This is my advice on the remaining six (including me).

Eric Jackson, Frank Weeden, John Harmon, Keith Hamilton and Annette Lartigue are left on the Island along with me.

Don’t even consider voting for any of the others. They have policies and / or personalities that are dangerous to Trenton’s future.

So where are we with these five? I’ll use the Trenton Times, Fix Trenton’s budget survey and Mill Hill forum responses to compare and contrast.

Jackson and Lartique are the most Developer friendly
Hamilton, Harmon and Weeden seem to think forcing developers to hire Trenton workers is the way to encourage development. Jackson and Lartique are less clear about this. Furthermore Hamilton is the only candidate who favors forcing developers to pay prevailing wages. Increasing ratables is our #1 priority and to make life complicated for the developers that might make that happen is the ultimate in counter-productivity. It also demonstrates an attitude that government can and should control the economy. This is currently the Palmer Admin policy and look where its gotten us. People wonder why I’m running and this is it. We can’t afford to have four more years of anti-business policy in city hall.

Lartique is the most aggressive on the budget
Weeden says he will cut budget and hopes unions and Governor will cooperate. He opposed the reassessments necessary to correct our tax policy at the Mill Hill Forum.

Lartique is probably the most open and aggressive in her stance on re-working the budget, creating a strategic plan and doing reassessments. She’s not quite 100% correct on her explanation of zero based budgeting but she’s trying and I’d be glad to help her.

Jackson is the second most aggressive in his stance. He’s a bit more vague in his approach and doesn’t support zero-based budgeting. But he’d at least try. He told Mill Hill he opposing reassessments but changed his mind on the Fix Trenton’s Budget survey.

Harmon keeps saying he can’t explain his policy to reduce costs in limited space. What he doesn’t realize is that by not being able to simply express his approach he’s fairly much saying he doesn’t have one. He opposed reassessments at the Mill Hill forum and was tentative about it in the survey.

Hamilton says he’ll be able to find a $40M surplus. That kind of crazy talk gets people voted off the Island. His answers on reassessment show that he hasn’t thought about it.

Finally I’d have to say Jackson has the best temperament to be Mayor, in 2014
Jackson appears to be as serious and earnest as he comes across. Harmon, wants to be everbody’s friend and keeps talking about resources he’d bring to Trenton. I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean or why he hasn’t brought those resources before. Lartigue has had some troubling and well documented anger management issues. Weeden is a “lone wolf” and hasn’t solidified support among the very people he thinks should support him, including me. Hamilton doesn’t seem to have serious notions about running a city and his policies don’t seem to be based on a philosophy.

As for me.You can be sure that developer hiring practices would be left to developers. Our city budget would undergo zero-based budgeting which means each department STARTS with no budget and has to prove why they need one given goals agreed by the Mayor and Council. And while I’m sure my temperament isn’t perfect for Mayor it is pretty good for making “by the numbers” business decisions. I won’t care about my political future, just about turning around the city.

For At Large
Jim Carlucci for his knowledge. Al Ward for his smarts. Christine Donahue for her process based business background.

For West Ward
Moriarity for his tenacious exploration of our financial issues and for exposing LA Parker and WIMG.

For North Ward
Roland Laird for making reassessment central to his campaign

For East Ward
Kesner Dufresne for talking about the wage tax and about being pro-business

For South Ward
Carlos Avilla for doing well on the budget survey even though he complained

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