Struggling Atlantic City Vows to Fight State Takeover
ATLANTIC CITY — Despite a rejection from Trenton, city officials say they will continue to fight for their five-year financial turnaround plan.
State Department Community Affairs Commissioner Charles Richman rejected the city's financial proposal on Tuesday, saying it did not bring enough stability to the struggling resort city's finances.
The rejection means state could move forward with a takeover of Atlantic City's assets and decision-making power.
According to Richman, the proposal relies on dubious asset transfers to raise most of the money to pay down debt.
"I would have much preferred to leave management of the city's recovery in the hands of its municipal officials," Richman wrote. "However, I am constrained by the plan the city has placed before me. The enormous problems confronting the city did not occur overnight. City leadership has had ample time to improve the city's financial condition, yet has avoided doing so in any meaningful way. The plan is not likely to achieve financial stability for the city."
But Mayor Don Guardian responded that "there are a lot of inaccuracies and misinformation" in the state's rejection.
According to Guardian, their proposed plan is critical to the city and to the state. He says no other plan or solution has been put forward at this point and that the Christie administration's decision to reject the AC financial plan will be "damaging."
Guardian says the city will submit further documents to supplement their plan and invited state officials to meet with them.
City Council President Marty Smalls called the rejection of the plan "politically motivated."
"This fight is far from over. I don't believe in giving up," he said Wednesday afternoon.
The Associated Press contribute to this report.