LISTEN: Senator Jim Whelan spoke to 130 business leaders on April 19. It was an event hosted by the Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
The day of panel discussions were held at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel. Whelan warned the crowd, along with AC’s Mayor Guardian: they might not like what they’re about to hear…
Whelan sharply criticized Atlantic City on a variety of topics.
Senator Whelan: The public unions want to protect their collective bargaining agreements. The Mayor & City Council want to their preserve power & influence.
- 100 towns have privatized their water. On 3 different occasions, Atlantic City could have taken action with their water company (MUA). ‘It’s hard to make the case that Atlantic City is getting it’s act together’, says Whelan.
- Bader Field is a 150 acres of mismanagement. It’s even degrading….with portions slowly becoming wetlands. Fortunatley, the city will finally auction off properties like Bader Field on June 17. The starting bid is a hopeful $150 million.
- TV expose by Action News….showing Councilman George Tibbit using city vehicle to drive to Home Depot.
- Prieto does not have the votes to pass his bill. He does not have the 41 needed, otherwise he would post the bill.
- Prieto bill…the county would get $4 mil extra per year…..from broke city.
- There is no meaningful incentive for early retirement (public employees)
- Take-over is better than bankruptcy
Howard Kyle (Chief of Staff for Atlantic County Executive Levinson) pitched public-private partnerships, agriculture, the airport and colleges.
The best way to save Atlantic City…. is to save Atlantic County, says Kyle.