Op-Ed: It Seems To Me

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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 need to be seen as a friendly town, where you are welcomed. Here’s a quote from one ticket recipient:  “I took my family to Girasole, and spent over $400 to come out and find a ticket on my car…not another car on the street. I’ve had it with AC. I’m not coming back.”

My partner Ed Foresta and  I recently moved to AC and settled on a property the day after a murder occurred on our new block. It seems to me, as residents and voters, we should have some say about what services should be cut. To the outside world, we are unsafe, and now becoming more unsafe with proposed cuts to the police force. I guess that is why the state overlords go home elsewhere at night. The state also continues to leave town with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money. We, in the city, are not the enemy. We are the believers in AC. Right now, we are just the vanquished, being ruled from outside,  much like the British ruled colonial outposts years ago. We are victims of taxation without representation. Let’s look at the Forkin tax plan – leave some money behind.

It seems to me there are a lot of mayoral and council candidates in AC with a lot of rhetoric, and more of the same ‘what we should have done’ and ‘how we should have reacted.’ We need proactive people with vision, not reactive people with rear-view mirrors. Where are leaders with vision?

It seems to me, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority finally seems to be trying to get it right and figure it out. Maybe they will, and maybe they’ll learn how to get along with those representing AC. It would be wonderful to see the city and the CRDA on the same page. There is movement afoot to change. Let’s help push them forward!  One of the first things they could fix and simplify is the land use and certificate-of-occupancy laws. Every city in the county has a much less complex version of how they go about it, and in AC you have to deal with both the city and the CRDA and their competing practices. It’s not easy doing business in Atlantic City

This from a Route 40 report: “Last year the Atlantic County population shrunk faster than in any of the seven previous years of Census Bureau estimates, which are based on the 2010 census. People started leaving in 2014, when four Atlantic City casinos closed, and more people have left each year since, according to the estimates.”

It seems to me, failed policies of New Jersey, highlighted by failed planning in Atlantic County and Atlantic City, are forcing people to follow the yellow brick road right out of town.

Numbers don’t lie, but I bet the politicians will, as they blame everyone else but themselves…. too many holdovers. It’s easy to point fingers, how about pointing some direction? Before voting, ask yourself, “What is the candidate offering as an economic blueprint?” How can we get to a future so bright, we gotta wear shades? We realtors are tired of selling distressed properties. It is as disheartening to us as it is to the homeowners….. We are drowning in short sales and foreclosures and most areas of the country are booming with listing shortages.

It seems to me the old mobsters seemed to run the town so much better than the new mobsters…. They remembered to leave some table scraps behind for the people. Here’s one report from Amy Rosenberg of Philly.com.

As a member of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, I gathered with other members at our Housing Policy Summit last week in Washington DC. While the weather made for harsh conditions, it actually warmed up the Congressional meetings with David Cicilline (D-RI), co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and Scott Taylor (R-VA), a straight former navy seal. They are working on behalf of the LGBT community and spoke at the first NAGLREP Housing Policy Summit on Tuesday, asking what we want to know. Why are we 2nd class citizens, with no legal protections in 29 states? We also met with Roddy Flynn, Executive Director of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. One gay Democrat and one straight Republican may add up to a bipartisan effort that brings consensus to equality.

At this time in history, it seems discrimination is more generational inspired than at the heart of the American core. Read more here.

Geoff’s Page is an occasional column for Route 40. If you are interested in writing an op-ed, please get in touch.


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