Christie Hasn’t Convinced These Atlantic City Residents That State Takeover Would Be Best
ATLANTIC CITY — Gov. Chris Christie may be ratcheting up his rhetoric against city leaders opposed to his proposed takeover of the nearly cashless municipal government, but people who live here say they trust the state even less than City Hall.
"It's a bad move. I don't trust the state period," said Geoff Rosenberger, a real estate agent who's in the process of moving back to Atlantic City. "We know it's not going to be good."
Gov. Chris Christie and Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian held separate press events early Wednesday, less than a block apart, trading insults and reiterating their plans to revive the nearly broke city, which has approved a 28-day payroll schedule for workers to avoid a government shutdown on Friday.
Guardian is opposed to Christie's idea of a state takeover that, among other things, would give the state authority over collective bargaining with the city's public sector unions.
City employee Henry Green, who's been a resident of Atlantic City for most of his life, said putting the city in the state's hands would worsen the already decades-long pattern of misspending and waste.
"I'm very nervous and I'm scared about what's going to happen," Green said.
Despite Guardian's opposition to the plan — which also is opposed by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto but backed by Senate President Stephen Sweeney — Christie expressed confidence Wednesday that the takeover will be passed, noting the city is out of time and money.
Marianna Gonzalez, who owns a construction company, attended Guardian's press event so she can get some clarification on where her city is headed in the next few months.
"There's so many things going in so many different locations," Gonzalez said. "We just want to know what's going on."
Gonzalez admitted the city needs help, but it's still up in the air what type of help is needed.
"Not a complete takeover —a partnership," she said. "It's working hand-in-hand, working together."