Atlantic City is battling several issues ranging from the mundane to severe accusations. We’ve heard issues like butt whopping and racism claims been flung around by several groups. All these are done in the bid to control the gambling behemoth.
Frank Gilliam, a former mayor, was forced to resign his position in October. Since then, nothing has been the same anymore. A group of politicians and businessmen in the city are trying to force Marty Small, the elected mayor out of office. They’re trying to get in a city council of in place of the mayor that would be appointed by them.
Most of these groups are just fighting for the gaming asset of the state, which is quite essential and of course, they’ are also fighting for money.
In order to achieve its aim, a number of local businessmen have donated funds to PAC (Political Action Commitee) which was created to restore change and order to Atlantic City. According to news reports obtained from Calvin Ayre, a group called the Atlantic City Residents for Good Government has racked up more than $150,000 in donations.
This includes a sum of $126,000 gotten from Morris Bailey, who is the owner of Resorts Casino Hotel. There are also reports that some funds have been donated by Mark Giannantonio, the CEO of the company. In addition, unions supporting the casino, employees, and other bodies have also contributed their bit.
The aim is to replace the large city council with a smaller city council and a city manager. The supporters and PAC have been pushing for a referendum that would implement these changes. From the look of things, there’s no assurance that the state leaders would accede to such requests regardless of the support they get.
Supporters of the referendum have been able to gather enough signatures to hold a vote for the referendum, and it may happen in a few week’s time. Bod McDevitt, who is the president of the Unite Here Local 54 union had this to say
“The only people that are (against this) are those who are part of the cartel. I believe we should have less people running a government. I think it’s more efficient and it makes sense for a community this size. No major city that has the kind of hospitality industry that we have has a main drag with the kind of undesirables and buildings that should be torn down.”
This fight has been taking place even before Small came into power, the difference is that it wasn’t as serious as this. In an interview with a local news station held in June this year, he disclosed that when he was the president of the City Council
“It is at the height of arrogance and represents deep-seated racial bias and animus that makes us wonder which state are we living in: New Jersey or Alabama? The move reflects a mindset that believes African Americans and other races can’t govern and don’t have the backbone or the courage to fight.”
In the same month, George Tibbith City Council Councilman At Large had this to say about the referendum.
“Don’t sign that petition.” He added, “It’s a scam. And even if they pass it, we’re going to give them a good old-fashioned butt whooping.”