Atlantic City Mayor-Elect Asks Residents for Help [AUDIO]
Atlantic City Mayor-Elect Don Guardian has not even assumed office officially, but already the Republican is plotting out the course of his term.
Guardian held his "20-20" meeting Monday night at the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Atlantic City, where he laid out his goals during his first (and anticipated second) term.
He addressed numerous points, including the city's struggling budget, safety, housing, business development, social services, labor, and quality of life.
While Guardian spoke at great length about his strategy, which included incentivizing people to move to the city, utilizing resources, such as Bader Field, and strengthening the police force; he called upon the residents in attendance to voice their opinion. Asking for the creation of numerous ad hoc committees that would address issues within the city.
"With the community, we want them to start meeting on a monthly basis and planning our future. How do we make this a great city? How do we reduce our budget? How do we bring better programs in?"
The committees would be open to all Atlantic City residents, and according to Guardian, would need to operate with transparency, including posting all meeting minutes and information online. Guardian said he will have regular contact with all groups.
"In some cases, it's just turning to me and saying, 'we want to do this, or we need the police chief to come on board, or we need an engineer's report, or we need a casino to help us, or we need a hospital to jump on board with their staff,'" he said.
Guardian will be taking over a one of New Jersey's biggest cities, rife with fiscal and social issues. However, the mayor-elect says he's been speaking with mayors throughout the state, Senator and former Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and officials from outside New Jersey.
"Mayor Nutter from Philadelphia called and offered his services, and actually Mayor Giuliani from New York did the same."