Atlantic City Swears in Openly Gay Mayor

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:

He promises that by the end of the month, every street in the city will be cleaned five days a week, and one of the first things he did after being elected was meet with public works employees who clean the streets in his neighborhood to get to know them and encourage them.

His priorities include addressing the city’s crime problem, streamlining the process for developers to build and putting vacant land back on the tax rolls. He also says one of his goals is to work better with Gov. Chris Christie on matters of concern to Atlantic City — a goal the Republican governor has said he shares. …

A particular challenge will be ending a string of tax appeals by casinos that are costing the city millions in lost revenue. He has already met with casino executives and pledged a more cooperative effort, but he couldn’t say specifically how the goal of ending tax appeals might be accomplished, particularly with the value of the casinos falling as the Atlantic City gambling market contracts.

“For gaming, the days of monopoly are gone; that’s something we understand,” Guardian said. “Our plan is to help them by running an efficient government and providing services that are second to none. There is no reason for casinos to be filing tax appeals and taking us to court. We can all sit down at the same table. We have to find a fair and equitable way for the casinos to pay taxes.”

You can read more of the story here.