A Very City-Councily Roundup – Thursday’s Roundup

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Happy Thursday Campers. Hope you’re having a great morning.

Mayor Gilliam was at the City of Atlantic City City Council meeting last night, his first appearance in a while, but he kind of kept a low profile. Gilliam’s father, Frank McCoy Gilliam, Sr., died earlier this month, and the council offered condolences. Thanks to Michelle Brunetti Post of the Press of AC for her thorough story which supplied those details on the mayor’s father, as well as many others.

If you’ve never been to a City of Atlantic City City Council Meeting, I urge you to attend sometime one of these fun and even-kind-of-inspiring civic spectacles. Bear in mind I am a weirdo and don’t get out of the house much.

I counted about 60 people at last night’s meeting, including one man who claimed to be from the French Foreign Legion who tried to present Marty Small with what looked like a needle-point sampler, or plaque, as a gift, though the Council President declined to accept the object, citing ethics rules.

It said something like, “Frankly I’m suspicious of anyone who has a strong opinion on a complicated issue.” #strongagree

Anyway, the Legionnaire, who wore an authentic-looking Legionnaire hat and remarked “They took my bayonet away” also complimented Public Works on the sidewalks between the library and the post office.

“They have done a beautiful job. Those sidewalks are just like a billiard table.”

Council II
In realer news, Councilman Kaleem Shabazz spoke up in favor of funding William D. Crane Associates to conduct a transit-village study around the train station, which would make the city eligible for state and federal funds to be used around the train station, which is currently its winter slumbers.

Councilman Jesse Kurtz said the committee involved with licensing and inspections discussed the needle exchange in town, an important part of which discussion was getting the state to change its regulatory framework so that other, non-Atlantic City cities could “help people” by opening their own needle exchanges, so that A.C. would not “have a monopoly” on the service.

Delicately phrased, Councilman Kurtz.

Kurtz also said it would be nice to upgrade the bulkheads so that streets stop caving in to the bay, but doing that costs money and the city is unable to bond currently.

Councilman Jimmy Cheng catches a bit of grief, but he took a second to highlight the issue of speeding (as in automobiles) in the city and he’s totally right. For a town that’s supposedly highlighting its “walkability” there sure are a lot of cars doing 55 in a 25.

Cheng said it would be cool to have speed bumps or rubber strips on Fairmount Avenue, where there was another hit-and-run recently.

In 1986 or so my mom got a beautiful Chevy Celebrity, with a make-pretend convertible roof. I remember we, as a family, spent the weekend at the dealership in Ocean City negotiating with some guy named Dale who had the most extraordinary eyebrows. My point is that car got side-swiped on Fairmount Avenue by a hit-and-run driver not long after we bought it and lived the rest of its natural life with a messed up door. It was a weekly occurrence in 1986, the hit-and-run side-swiping on Fairmount Ave. and it’s exciting to see the tradition is still alive 32-years later.

Mike Epps, the executive director of the Atlantic City Initiatives Project Office, who is tasked with implementing the Johnson Report, introduced himself. Is he the most important guy in city hall these days?

Councilman Speedy Marsh also thanked Bob Preston for filling in as planning director for the last howevermany months before they hired the new planning director, who had to fight traffic from Mantoloking to get down here last night. For coverage of her hire, I’d direct you to the aforementioned Michelle Brunetti Post story.

It looks like I’ve used up my three minutes! But you can read about Phil Murphy’s proposal to restore voting rights to felons on probation here and on Steve Sweeney’s bill to treat government shutdowns like natural disasters so federal workers could catch a break here.

Sorry for all the stuff we missed, including Michelle McArthur, the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Steering Committee of the Women’s March set for this Saturday at 10:00. Freeholder Ashley Bennett said there are buses coming in from all over the state, and an actress from Mississippi will be reenacting Fannie Lou Hamer’s speech from the 1964 Democratic National Convention. She was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

For more feats of journalism…

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