You must be congratulated for your refreshing, honest attitude. While New Jerseyans may not want to hear about debt and deficits and their other myriad problems, you have been able to begin to define these issues AND to offer new plans of action. In particular, your insight into the mess of Atlantic City is spot on. Let's not waste time talking about the problems, let's define solutions. The festering issues of Atlantic City present an opportunity for excellence, not only for you but for everyone.
Fundamentally the city has a single money making business, the casinos. Gambling, the industry, is one of the country's growth areas. As the boomers move on to retire and to enjoy, the entertainment offerings of the gambling industry have a great growth potential. Even though AC has been successfully eroded, it will maintain some market share. Moreover, the location and destination appeal are unparalleled. AC is without doubt the most interesting gambling mecca in the country. But like a plain jane, the city does nothing to gussy itself up.
Here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Do not consider Atlantic City to be a "city" in the traditional sense. View it as a special area like a state or national treasure, which needs state or central management. Take it over. Take it all over, not just a "casino district".
- Develop a plan to make AC a city of the future, plan in all of the technology you can envision for 2050.
- Use eminent domain, take down and remove all effete, worn out, useless and other construction.
- Develop a hyper modern city transportation system using an elevated tramway.
- Improve the rail and air in and out.
- Eliminate property taxes for anyone who owns and lives in a property in the city, provided they work in the city.
- Improve the school system NOW. You have so many teachers in NJ, this should be easy. Build modern schools.
- Establish modern health clinics for primary care. Use nurse practitioners and PA's. It's a small city, 40,000 population, and this allows some innovative health care opportunities. You can do something of national interest with this concept.
- Clean up and modernize the boardwalk. It is special. CLEAN
- Groom the beaches, make them showcase. Keep them clean. CLEAN
- Safety now, use NJSP, offer any AC officer opportunity to train to be a trooper. SAFE
- Make the entryways into the city spectacular. Get rid of the messes on the White and Black Horse Pikes.
Please don't compromise. Local leadership has failed to lead the way and if left in place for a few more decades, the city will look much like it did in 1976. Remember, once one of the linchpin casinos pulls out, it will be a bum's rush west. You have the ability and moxie to do something good. Please move forward.