‘Atlantic City is on its comeback.’ State takeover of Atlantic City extended 4 more years

State officials tell News 12 New Jersey that the goal of the state’s involvement is to eventually make the effort unnecessary.

News 12 Staff

Aug 18, 2021, 12:56 AM

Updated 969 days ago

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The state takeover of Atlantic City was recently extended for four more years.
State officials tell News 12 New Jersey that the goal of the state’s involvement is to eventually make the effort unnecessary.
But those involved in the effort say that they don’t like the connotation of the word “takeover.” They say that it is more of a partnership and collaboration.
“So many people look at it as an adversarial relationship. First and foremost, we’re all Americans, last I checked – Atlantic City and New Jersey. We’re all on the same team,” says former state Sen. Chris Brown.
The Murphy administration has tapped Brown to help coordinate the effort.
“When they said, ‘Do you want to do this?’ I said, ‘Sure.’ I had already decided not to run and I made that announcement months earlier. So at that point it would be, ‘Yeah, it’s great to get started now. Why wait?’” Brown says.
Brown resigned from his seat in July and was named Gov. Phil Murphy’s senior adviser for Atlantic City affairs.
“The main function of the state, and the hope of the state, is simply to help Atlantic City to become self-sufficient so it can maintain its own day-to-day budget, its own day-to-day operations so the state isn't there any longer,” says Brown.
Brown reports to Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who heads the Department of Community Affairs, and works with Jacquelyn Suarez, who heads up the DCA's Division of Local Government Services.
“The lieutenant governor and I, when we were strategizing as to what to do with Atlantic City, it was always how do we make sure that we can remove ourselves and the city can continue on its progress,” Suarez says.
Officials say that this is really the goal of the state stewardship of Atlantic City, to make the state eventually unnecessary as the city manages its budgets and development on its own.
“Atlantic City is on its comeback, things are moving in the right direction and it really is an exciting time,” says Brown.
Under the law, the state takeover of Atlantic City expires in 2025.


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