Atlantic City last night took a step closer – maybe, just maybe – to getting out from under the bizarre and complex terms that came with taking a controversial state emergency loan earlier this year. The city council agreed (just – the vote was 5-4) to sell former airstrip Bader Field to the city’s water utility in return for $110 million (and yep, a lot more debt for the Municipal Utilities Authority). Next step is the announcement of a five-year recovery plan which will be presented at a public meeting at City Hall on Monday at 5pm. If it doesn’t appease the state, it won’t be for Mayor Don Guardian’s lack of trying. Guardian has sold everything from scrap metal and filing cabinets to bicycles and vacant lots to raise money and he’s persuaded hundreds of city staffers to take early retirement and do without city courtesy cars to trim costs.
It appears that even though the (Trump) Taj Mahal really has closed, people are still talking about when it’s going to reopen. Was the plan to close and reopen all along? Maybe. But if Carl Icahn just wanted to bust the union, why was he OK with giving his unionized employees at the Tropicana the same healthcare deal he refused the Taj workers? None of it makes much sense to us, but clearly while there’s no news there’s going to be a lot of gossip and interest in the fate of those white elephants.
Changing topic dramatically, Craig McCarthy has a fun story on the eating habits (expensive) of a 279-pound sea turtle currently recuperating at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine. “Esther Williams” as she’s known (I had to look it up) only eats “whelk” (had to look that up too), and the center’s “crab man” can only find one or two a day.
Here’s the rest of what we’re reading today: