You know, I really don’t rely often on vulgarities. I do have a larger vocabulary. Honest.
It was just a week ago that I called the Indicted Occupant of Trenton’s Mayor’s Office “Batshit Crazy,” and that should have filled my monthly quota for Anglo-Saxonisms for the rest of the month. However, although I may risk calling down the wrath of The Knights of Standards and Practices, I have to say: Tony Mack is a chicken shit.
How else to describe his behavior yesterday, all day?
After yesterday’s horrible incident in which two Trenton police officers were seriously wounded in a gun battle with an attacker they killed while defending themselves, the man had no comments to make to media when he visited Capital Medical Center Fuld, the hospital to which Officers Edgar Rios and James Letts were taken for treatment and surgery. He promised a formal statement by day’s end.
Curiously, he has often been tongue-tied when it comes to police. When the City laid off 108 cops 2 years ago, he was off in Disney World, and had nothing to say; all actions were in the name of “The City of Trenton,” not him.
When two Trenton officers were ambushed last year, during another spasm of gun violence, “Mack said he didn’t want to comment on the shooting or recent spate of gun violence. ‘One of the things we want to do is make sure before we comment on police matters, the department director has done all he can do to resolve the crime before we make irresponsible comments,’ he said.”
Yesterday afternoon, he was nowhere to be seen when Acting NJ Attorney General John Hoffman led a press conference – scheduled prior to yesterday’s violence – to announce measures to be taken by the State in concert with Mercer County and Trenton Police to implement immediate emergency law enforcement measures and long-term prosecutorial actions to try to take Trenton off the boil. Present at that conference was County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini and Trenton Police Director Ralph Rivera. Bocchini and Rivera had also been present on Hobart Avenue earlier in the day, directing police response and speaking with the media.
When asked throughout the day about the absence of the IO at any of these events, the attendees answered with a graciousness that the man does not deserve, saying that these were law enforcement matters, and that the city’s chief lawman was Rivera. Most other mayors of most other towns would have considered it their job, their duty to have appeared at such a meeting, standing alongside the Acting Attorney General. But not him.
Instead, we have pictures of the City’s Police Director standing deferentially behind both the AAG and the County Prosecutor, a fitting symbol of what esteem the City of Trenton is held these days.
As it happens, the IO did have a perfect opportunity to go on the record yesterday. He had been scheduled for over a week to address City Council at last night’s meeting, on the subject of the Trenton’s crime wave and his administration’s response to it. According to press accounts, he did actually appear in Council chambers for a few minutes, but then unaccountably left. He blew off Council as well as the citizens who had attended the meeting, in part to hear what the man had to say.
Council members, as quoted in the press, didn’t sound all that upset with the IO’s failure to appear. They should have been livid. Perhaps the esteemed members were more emphatic out of earshot of the press and public, but for the man to fail to show up for a scheduled opportunity to speak to Council and citizens on a day like yesterday was more than “disrespectful,” as Phyllis Holly-Ward said or “disappointing,” in Verlina Reynolds-Jackson’s words. It was a Big Honking Insult.
But, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, one cannot be insulted without permission. And this Council has given Mack permission to insult them over, and over, and over. Aided and abetted by the fools on that body such as Alex Bethea, who tried to cover for the man by giving him, in Jenna Pizzi’s Trenton Times account, “the benefit of the doubt.” This idiot actually said, “I don’t know what his schedule is like, if he had another pending engagement. There is always next time.” Idiot.
There’s always next time. Yeah, no big deal, Bethea. It’s Trenton. There’s always a next time. In fact, next time is today, as we read that the City’s 30th homicide of the year was committed overnight. The 31st, if one counts yesterday’s justifiable homicide of Eric McNeil as the year’s 30th. So even by Mr. Bethea’s pathetically low standards, it’s time for Mack to speak!
In fact, the man did speak yesterday, but not to Council or the public. The media whore held a press conference in his office, right before his scheduled appearance, in which “Mack did read an address he said he would also give to council.” Except that he never did. Give that address to Council.
Council really didn’t miss much. The IO offered nothing of interest, other than to repeat his request to be bailed out by the State with more money to hire police. He also repeated the same litany of actions he’s been peddling for a few years now: “that the community look after children, that homeowners maintain their properties to prevent blight, and that civic associations and churches support their communities.”
Uh huh. That will surely work.
Oh, back to that “statement” on the day’s events that the man promised at the hospital? It was dropped on the City’s website after 11 PM last night. In its entirety, it reads,
The thoughts and prayers of my entire administration are with our injured police officers and their families. We are praying for a speedy recovery. – Mayor Tony F. Mack
That was worth waiting for, right? That was a very heartfelt and warm personal expression of sympathy, support and resolve, right?
I can pick up more personalized expressions of support at CVS, written by Hallmark, for a couple of bucks. “The thoughts and prayers of my administration?” Not one “me” or “I?” Couldn’t think of anything else to say that was longer than 24 words?
Heck, it was only 146 characters long. With a little more editing, he could have Tweeted that from the hospital!
At this point, I don’t know why this sort of thing bugs me as much as it does. The guy pisses me off whenever he opens his mouth, and whenever he doesn’t. He cannot manage to get one thing right, and he still manages to infuriate. Why can’t I just push him aside and ignore him until he is gone?
Perhaps he explained it best yesterday, quite without meaning to.
As he was sitting at his desk yesterday, pontificating about what he was going to say at Council – before he turned tail – he repeatedly said that there was little that one person could do to fix this situation single-handed. “No one man can turn the police department around,” the Trentonian quotes him as saying.
That may be true. But one person can pull a team together, identify achievable goals, deploy resources and people the best way he can, set examples and priorities and targets. One person can, in a word, Lead.
That person is not Tony Mack.
On the other hand, one person can do much damage by himself. One person can – over years of poor decisions and misguided policies, along with catastrophic personnel choices and management – cause immense damage and calamity, which will take many more years, if not decades, to undo.
That person is Tony Mack. Chicken shit.
And that just never stops making me angry. Why doesn’t he just go away?
File this under, “But enough about you. Let’s talk about me!”
From the same office that took until 11 PM last night to post 24 words as a reaction to yesterday’s violence, we read this afternoon an emphatic 366 word statement intended to correct the factual record about his non-appearance at Council as reported by our media.
Big fucking deal. This is just further proof that the man is clueless when it concerns leading this city, focused only on his image and prerogatives.
So what if Council’s agenda changed? So what that he waited for an hour to speak? And he really wants to use the excuse that he needed to get back to the hospital to see the police officers and their families; that’s why he left without explanation? ?
The man is useless. Beyond that, he is a narcissistic twit. That’s a dangerous combination.