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.