Trenton protest calls out mayor

Seven College students joined between 60 and 75 protesters in Trenton on Friday to protest against a number of Trenton issues, including Mayor Douglas H. Palmer’s absenteeism and the city’s crime rate and poor school system, according to, an anti-Palmer Web site.
The College presence at the rally was organized by Neil Hartmann Jr., senior communication studies major.
Hartmann Jr., who works with Habitat for Humanity in Trenton, takes issue with the city’s perceived renaissance and the portrayal of Palmer as the cause of that renaissance.
“It’s just blatant lies,” Hartmann said. “He hasn’t improved a damn thing.” claims Palmer has not been seen in Trenton since May and that he doesn’t live in Trenton.
The protest took place in front of the Trenton Marriot, where the U.S. Conference of Mayors, of which Palmer is president, was holding a meeting.
While the mayor didn’t come out of the Mariott during the rally, the participants did get a chance to speak with several media outlets present to cover the meeting, such as the Times of Trenton.
The College presence was not organized under the banner of any student organization.
“We’re just concerned citizens that are working at non-profits in Trenton and see that there has not been an improvement in the quality of life in Trenton,” Todd Stoner, senior political science and international studies major, said. Stoner has worked with the Capital South Neighborhood Preservation Project, dedicated to improving quality of life in the Capital South area of Trenton.
“We didn’t want (College) students going just to protest,” Stoner said in reference to the small number of students in attendance. “You should never go to a protest if you don’t know what it’s about. So, really the people (who were) there are people that did research in Trenton, people that worked in Trenton or people who live there off-campus.”
Palmer was elected mayor in 1990 and has been re-elected four times since.
Hartmann Jr., in attempting to explain the mayor’s success in elections, said, “Not enough people are thinking through the issues.”
“(Palmer) spends more money to get his name up in places, and that’s what gets him elected,” he added.
When asked if the mayor got the message, Stoner laughed. “No,” he said. “Not at all.”

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Myles Ma