New Mayor of Atlantic City Says First Week Was a 'Rollercoaster'

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -

With Revel Casino being sold, a blizzard touching down, and a fire displacing hundreds of residents, Atlantic City and the town’s new mayor had quite the busy week.

“It’s really a great time for me, as well as for Atlantic Cityans because I really think that we found our way back,” said mayor Frank Gilliam. “We’re not totally there, but you see the signs that we’re slowly but surely turning the tide and I’m looking forward to what the future has to hold.”

There’s a new face on the 7th floor of City Hall here in Atlantic City, now that Gilliam was sworn into office.

Looking back at his first week in office as mayor, he says it was quite the rollercoaster ride.

It allowed me to navigate my way around the process and I’d rather learn earlier than later.

“As folks say, it’s what, 'baptism by fire'?” said Gilliam. “So it was one of those times where I had to jump in and figure it out as we went.”

After being sworn in on Monday, January 1st, Gilliam says his week has been so busy that he’s barely had time to move into City Hall.

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From a blizzard that crippled the city, canceling school for days and requiring a partnership with the state DOT to dig residents out, to an electrical fire at Jeffries Tower displacing close to 300 residents, Gilliam says he’s still in the learning process.

“Being the first week was one of those weeks where I did not have time to breathe, which is a good thing,” said Gilliam. “It allowed me to navigate my way around the process and I’d rather learn earlier than later.”

Now that he’s beginning his second week in office, Gilliam is working towards getting a better grasp of Atlantic City’s finances and the city's relationship with the state.

In the long run, the mayor has specific goals in mind; minimizing taxes, cleaning up the city, and creating employment opportunities are at the top, along with  redevelopment in the city.

“The city is on the uptick,” said Gilliam. “Everybody is pretty optimistic about 2018, as I am.

"It sounds like a cliché, but Stockton is opening up, South Jersey Gas is opening up, Hard Rock is opening up.”

Gilliam offers a new slogan for the city.

“The new slogan for Atlantic City is 'Why Not AC?'" said Gilliam. “Because anything is possible.”

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