Atlantic City Officials Break Down what State Takeover Means for City and Residents

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Days after the state denied a five-year recovery plan from Atlantic City and a state takeover of the resort's finances was approved, many are now wondering what that means for the city's employees and residents.

Although officials from Trenton will be overall in charge of running the municipality in an attempt to turn Atlantic City’s finances around, the city will still be working alongside them.

The state has some of the resources we need to, number one, have a balanced budget going forward, and number two, reduce the cost of government,” said Atlantic City Councilman Kaleem Shabazz. "We are looking at this as a heightened degree of cooperation as far as financial matters are concerned." 

In a meeting earlier this week, Mayor Don Guardian said the state freed up $15 million to cover upcoming payments. And although this is just the beginning, they have a lot of work to do together, which will hopefully help the City’s future and its residents.

They should feel comfortable that the funding is in place to provide all of the services. We have to see what happens, we don’t know what the budget is going to look like,” said Guardian.

Though city officials will continue to strive for what they think is best, overall both parties agree on the same mission - to get the city's finances back on track.

“We’re going to continue to fight for a no tax increase,” said Guardian. “But that’s where we’re really fighting, a balanced budget, we’re going to continue to be reducing the costs of government.”

The state will be playing a large part in restructuring the debt, and making decisions regarding Bader Field, the City's Municipal Utilities Authority, and other operations, but their elected officials will still be doing their day to day operations in the city.

“Atlantic City is still open for business, we still have development opportunities, the Council and mayor are still functioning in a cooperative way as we were elected to do,” said Shabazz.

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