Atlantic City Candidates Point to PILOT Bill and Mayor as Problem

The PILOT program should have been seen as a failure from the beginning. That’s what local activist/surfer Tom Forkin thinks. He’s also a former Atlantic City Solicitor that chairs the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. More interestingly, Forkin wants a 2018-2022 Atlantic City Council seat.

Forkin says Atlantic City casinos get a sweet PILOT deal, while residents take on additional burden.

The main problem of the ill-conceived PILOT, is it only tracks the gaming revenue, not the non-gaming revenue. Somebody was asleep at the wheel when that bad deal was dealt. The PILOT was and still is, a nasty and brutally harmful problem for the fiscal health of Atlantic City residents and non-casino business operators.

Example: Las Vegas has been thriving as it continues it’s pivot away from pure gaming. Non-gaming is now a more dominant portion of their economy.  Atlantic City is trying to follow in these Vegas footsteps.

In Summer 2016, Cape May County enjoyed it best tourism season ever with over $1 billion in revenue. More proof that people are coming to the Jersey Shore, but not necessarily to Atlantic City. Too many tourists drive right past A.C. because they could perceive the once majestic shore destination as dirty and unsafe.

A recent Press of AC reports asks: Is Ocean City passing Atlantic City as the entertainment capital of the Jersey shore? Wildwood is also showing up Atlantic City.

Even though Atlantic City is much cleaner and safer today, old perceptions die hard. Poor marketing and wasted ad dollars, and a now defunct ACA, is not helping change consumers mind about America’s playground.

Will cuts to public safety make people feel safer? Will new AC Police technology via Boardwalk cameras be enough? Adjacent neighborhoods are still waiting for new lighting and additional patrols for their part of Atlantic City.

After seven years of state oversight, enormous ad campaigns and paid salaries from the CRDA, ACA, ACCVA A.C. still flounders. Why? Because the state continues to take and we allow it.

Has the State been effective in dividing the city in two? It does look that way, as the Tourism District is JOB #1 in the eyes of the CRDA and Trenton.

Of the 30,000 potential voters in Atlantic City, only 15,000 are registered to enter the ballot booth. On a good day, only 4,800 come out to vote. Current AC Mayor Guardian benefited from this fact.

Forkin is a former Atlantic City Solicitor, and currently chairs the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. He is the running for a 2018-2022 Atlantic City Council seat.

Joseph Polillo, lifelong resident of Atlantic City will also be seeking a position inside City Hall. Polillo wants to the next Mayor Of Atlantic City. He’ll run as an independent candidate against embattled current Mayor, Don Guardian.  Frank Gilliam Jr. will also give Guardian a rough time, as a rising tide of discontent has targeted the affable yet ineffective Guardian.

Polillo has support, collecting 200 petition signatures, 100 more than needed.

Why is Polillo running? “I’ve lived here all my life and never before have we been in a worse predicament then we are today. Our Government has allowed our rights to be stripped away, without raising a single objection.

“I will represent, the will of the people of Atlantic City, not party bosses, not political parties and not political power brokers. I would not have allowed property taxes to skyrocket as they indisputably have under Mayor Guardian”