Atlantic City: Nothing Will Be Different During 3-Week Shutdown

Don Guardian - Atlantic City mayor; Chris Christie - New Jersey governor

Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian (left) and New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Come April 8th, Atlantic City is out of cash.

That doesn’t mean the boardwalk is going to crumble like it’s an episode of Life After People. But it does mean the city — which is generally bumpin’ on weekends, no matter the time of year — won’t pay its employees for three weeks.

Mayor Don Guardian said yesterday about 950 city employees have volunteered to work without pay. That’s almost the entire city workforce; Guardian said the city “is not going to look any different” during the government shutdown.

Employees aren’t guaranteed to be paid eventually for those three free weeks of work, though it’s certainly a possibility. But if you’re going to the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival (Dashboard Confessional and Reel Big Fish are playing!) or the Garden State Film Festival (there’s a movie called Catslaughter screening!), your experience in Atlantic City will not be any different. Read more »

Bankruptcy A Possibility for Atlantic City After Christie Veto

Atlantic City beach and boardwalk at twilight

Photo | Dan McQuade

Atlantic City could be out of cash by April.

That’s according to Mayor Don Guardian, who said estimates have the city running out of money in just a few months if state aid doesn’t come. “Bankruptcy is now back on the table,” Guardian said in a release. “If the state is not able to come up with the funding we need within the next few weeks, we will have no choice but to declare bankruptcy.”

Until yesterday, Atlantic City thought it was getting that funding: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t sign a bill that would plug $33.5 million in a state budget gap. It is essentially a veto.

It gets worse: In November, Chris Christie vetoed a similar bill, telling lawmakers he wanted the state to have more control over the funds going to Atlantic City. Lawmakers acquiesced, passing a new bill in line with what Christie requested. He let it sit until the bill died yesterday at noon.

Guardian, a Republican like Christie, released a statement blasting the decision.

“Governor Chris Christie and State Senate President Steve Sweeney initially reached out to Atlantic City last year and told us of their plans to draft a PILOT bill that would greatly aid our financial recovery,” Guardian said in the statement. “It wasn’t a perfect bill, but it was a bill that everyone could agree on. The bill was discussed, debated, and deliberated about endlessly. Then there was radio silence. We needed a decision and anticipated an answer on this crucial bill many, many months ago. All of us worked hard on the passage of this bill for over 18 months. So much time was wasted. And today, we finally have received that answer from the Governor.

“I must say, we are tremendously frustrated by the veto of this crucial bill because of all the hard work and effort that went into crafting this bill, for all the consensus building in the New Jersey Legislature that has gone for naught, and for all the cooperation locally that is now cancelled. It is certainly disappointing.” Read more »

Atlantic City Swears in Openly Gay Mayor

don guardian atlantic city mayor gay

Yesterday, in the midst of all our New Year’s shenanigans, Atlantic City swore in Don Guardian, its first Republican mayor in 23 years. Oh, and he also happens to be openly gay. LGBT Nation profiles the new city leader, focusing on some of the things he hopes to do for AC while he’s in office:

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