Cigar Night, Sweeney v Murphy Part XI and R.I.P. Towne 16 – Friday’s Roundup

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Conference Circuit
Katie Sobko and Kristie Cattafi of the North Jersey Record have a delightful story on the money towns spend in Atlantic City at the New Jersey League of Municipalities conference every year–$30 for an omelet, for instance. A meal for one councilman cost $1,063. Meanwhile, vendors, who are also trying to get your towns to give them your money and presumably have a decent success rate, host cocktail parties and cigar nights and happy hours, etc.

Cliffside Park (“Top of the Palisades”) spent $17,791 to send 22 officials and only four used their ID cards to swipe into the classes on offer (a spokesperson said they were confident the money was used “wisely”).

There’s no one really egregious thing but taken together it paints a picture of a lot of old boys out on the lash.

Murphy v. Sweeney Part XI
Elsewhere in politics, Phil Murphy’s deputy chief of staff for outreach said something hurtful about Steve Sweeney on a conference call with activists and great now those two are fighting again.

“One legislative source said this appears to be ‘a declaration of war’ as Murphy heads into negotiations with Sweeney and other fellow Democrats who lead the state Legislature on what the next state budget will look like,” Brent Johnson reports.

Am I overly cynical, or is this not that complicated? Sweeney wants to cut health and pension benefits for public workers, specifically the public-school workers who tried to not elect him last time around. Murphy wants to curb the state’s lavish incentive program for rewarding c-suite executives who relocate their headquarters from one side of the river to the other every few years. Problem is the corporations must be properly incented so Sweeney’s union friends can build them new office buildings. In the meantime, good luck with your marijuana legalization.

Population Loss
Deep South Jersey has five of the top ten “fastest-shrinking towns” in New Jersey, according to this story in NJ.com. We also have #11 (Atlantic City). I’m guessing Avalon is losing population for a different reason than Pennsville.

R.I.P. Towne 16
Towne 16 movie theater at the Shore Mall closed for good last night. The company that owns them, based in Florida, had filed for bankruptcy last year.

Another icon of my youth, gone. I feel like I spent every weekend there in middle school. We’ll miss you.

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