January 20, 2016

Mayor Calls B.S. On A.C. ‘Fatigue,’ and the Many Vetoes of Chris Christie

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Atlantic City officials are “threatening” (NJ.com’s Brent Johnson’s word) to declare bankruptcy for the beleaguered municipality a day after the governor vetoed* legislation designed, allegedly, to stabilize city finances, thus paving the way for further state control (i.e. takeover) of city government—for the next fifteen years.

Given the city’s been on double-secret probation for some time now, it’s unclear what another “takeover” would actually entail exactly (“We couldn’t mismanage a paper clip without a review”), as Mayor Don Guardian points out in a rather long, impassioned op-ed in the Press of Atlantic City: Though that didn’t stop him and other city leaders from vehemently opposing the takeover.

Among the many important points the mayor gets off his chest in the Press of A.C. op-ed, the Howler’s favorite facts include the $21 billion the city has sent to the state in taxes in the past thirty years (state officials aren’t really “fatigued” by the city) and the “600 parcels of land” the state owns around town, which add to the general post-apocalyptic charm of the place, and aren’t the city’s fault.

The Howler, peering into his crystal ball, thinks Atlantic City’s going to look like a much different place in five years, let alone fifteen, with far fewer of those vacant lots and far more conventional, city-type things like houses and businesses. He wonders if state pols aren’t already getting in line to take credit for the A.C. renaissance.

Of course there could be something much more sinister afoot.

Christie Vetoes Anti-Opiate-Abuse Bill 
After devoting a chunk of his State of the State speech on New Jersey’s drug epidemic, Governor Christie vetoed a bill that would have expanded access to prescription opiates that are designed to be harder to abuse and become addicted to. He said the benefits of the drugs, were “still uncertain.”

Also, that $80 million the state was supposed to commit to preservation? The governor vetoed that too.

A bill that would exempt “law enforcement camera recordings” and 911 calls from Open Records requests is in the legislature, sponsored by Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, who by the way suggested such open-records requests were probably going to be filed by perverts in the media, rather than serious reporters holding officials accountable.

Friendly reminder that you can support the cops and also support accountability. Or do we all just trust the government suddenly?

Speaking of which, the City of Brigantine agreed to a $250,000 settlement with former acting police Chief Raymond Cox, who alleged he was improperly demoted. Only $75,000 will be paid by the city.

Apparently it’s going to snow? Who knows. My crystal ball doesn’t work short-term.

Christie also vetoed a plan that would have empowered a panel to seek improvements in pedestrian and bike safety in the state. South Jerseyist opines. You should read it.

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