Congrats to Atlantic City for shining bright with Pink on July 12th and kudos to all involved, including the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority! I spent the time walking all over town. Everywhere I went was mobbed, and full of smiles, except on Bart Blatstein’s Playground Pier. There, the restaurants were packed: yet, below is the last picture taken before staff on the pier lowered hurricane shutters so you could not see the crowd outside. Additionally, the Pier’s observation decks were closed.
The city and county are mad at the other over taxes, the Governor and his cohorts seemingly lied to both about many things, and New Jersey’s bureaucratic presence known as the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) voted to adopt a new master plan. It is understandable that much of the local populace seems mad at them all. Years ago, we learned the world isn’t flat… it’s round. Round worlds don’t have corners.
“If Dorothy was a hooker.” I laughed out loud when I received that private message. It was sent from a former resident of Atlantic City in response to my public post on Facebook, with a wonderful picture of Atlantic City, wherein I stated our beloved city is like “Oz on the Ocean”. It doesn’t matter how much I love AC – the truth is the truth. Our city, to outside eyes is ugly, unsafe, and a place that begs you to be careful.
As an Atlantic City and Atlantic County resident there are things I’ve noticed:
It seems to me, the state takeover did not become unconstitutional within the county offices until it impacted negatively on the amount of money the county would receive. What was it before? It seems to me, people in Atlantic City are getting tickets and don’t even see the meters. To many, they don’t look like meters, and aren’t at every spot. We should take lessons from successful towns up and down the coast and suspend parking fees in the winter, with possible exceptions, like the walk area, or holiday weekends. In winter, we inhabit a virtual ghost town and have few visitors.
We all know the problems. To date, I can count on one hand how many locals agree the $2 million being spent on the renovation of unused bathrooms in Boardwalk Hall is a good idea, or at the least, where we should start. I can also count on one hand how many local people like the CRDA. I had the opportunity in January to meet with Chris Howard, the new Executive Director of the CRDA. I found a bright man hoping to bring change. The idea behind the CRDA remains noble.