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Trenton mayor and City Council Clash

GLENN TOWNES Special to the AmNews | 9/7/2011, 5:19 p.m.

Tension and frustration between Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and members of the City Council reached a fever pitch last week, as the council called out the embattled mayor regarding multiple issues plaguing the capital city--most notably his absence at key council meetings.

Mack, who, according to various public records, has been a virtual no-show at council meetings since the beginning of the year, last attended a council meeting back in March. While he is not required to attend the weekly meetings, the City Council can mandate that he attend specific meetings, which is exactly what it did last Thursday.

"The city has been in a steady decline and near crisis mode, and he hasn't bothered to communicate or be readily accessible to council members or the public to answer questions and address the issues," said one council member. "It really is a disgrace and embarrassment to the city and the people of Trenton."

Mack, who has sat at the helm of the city since July 2010, has been embroiled in countless controversies and rifts with the council and the community.

At last week's three-hour, mostly closed-door meeting, Mack made a few comments and later released a prepared statement to the media defending his occasional attendance to City Council meetings. "As mayor of Trenton, I represent the executive branch of government," read the statement. "The City Council is the legislative branch. At all levels of government, there is a separation of power, and that is why I do not consistently attend council meetings."