New Atlantic City mayor promises a clean and fair administration
Atlantic City’s new mayor says that he is promising a clean and fair administration for the city’s taxpayers after his predecessor was removed from office.
Marty Small took over the mayor’s office two months ago after former Mayor Frank Gilliam resigned. Gilliam pleaded guilty to wire fraud and admitted that he embezzled donations made to a youth basketball team.
Small may be a new mayor, but he is a familiar person in Atlantic City politics, having spent 16 years as a councilman and four years as the council president.
"I'm a competitor. I've been an athlete my whole life. It wasn't the traditional way to get in, it was unfortunate,” he says.
Small says that he wishes Gilliam nothing but the best.
"Frank Gilliam was a longtime friend who turned a rival in politics and you know my heart goes out to him and his family. But at the same time, it's also an incredible opportunity,” he says.
Atlantic City faces several challenges, from a recent hike in property taxes to continued competition for its casinos.
"Sports gaming to everyone's surprise in the mere 14 months, became the No. 1 gaming destination in the nation, passing Vegas. The city Of Atlantic City doesn't get a penny,” says Small.
The mayor says that he wants the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which collects a 1.25% tax on all sports gaming, to direct that money to Atlantic City.
"Taxpayers, residents, businesses, employees of the city of Atlantic City. We’ve got to make it work,” he says.
Atlantic City has a long history of corruption and was even the basis for the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” Gilliam was the third mayor in 35 years to face jail time.
But when it comes to keeping his administration and himself clean, Small says, "No weapon formed against me shall prosper. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
"I love this city, my heart is in it, and the last thing: I'm Atlantic City-born. I'm Atlantic City bred and when I die I'm going to be Atlantic City dead,” says Small.
Small faces a special election next year to serve the rest of Gilliam's term. The Democratic primary is in June. The general election is in November.