Yesterday, I spoke with Councilman Blakeley and congratulated him on his decision to move on from the City of Trenton and pursue a fantastic out-of-state professional opportunity and wished him well in his future endeavors. Over the last three years, the Councilman has served Trenton and its residents to the best of his ability. I encourage everyone to keep him uplifted as he looks to grow and expand his career.
While I respect the Councilman and his decision to relocate, his departure now leaves an open seat on the dais. According to the Mayor-Council form of government pursuant to the New Jersey Faulkner Act, NJSA:40:69A-31 et.seq., "the municipal council shall consist of five, seven or nine members." Therefore, I urge the City Council to swiftly fill the vacant seat with a qualified and thoroughly vetted Trenton resident.
To ensure the continued maintenance of fair governance in the city, the Council body needs to recognize the critical need to fill this position promptly. If the vacancy is not filled, it creates an imbalance in voting and hinders a fair democratic process, which every resident deserves. Moreover, nothing will properly move forward considering the absence of a seventh council person.
This is a serious matter, and a decision should not be made without careful and thoughtful consideration regarding what’s best for the City and its residents. I hope our City Council members see the severity of such an absence as well as the need for someone fair, capable and competent to fill the vacancy and govern themselves accordingly in their decision.