From the Record:
After years of trying to ignite an economic revival in Atlantic City — only to see four of its 12 casinos close in 2014 — Governor Christie was back at the drawing board Tuesday with a sweeping new plan to take over the city’s finances and cut down the size of its government.
Christie’s announcement at a State House news conference with Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Mayor Don Guardian came hours before the Atlantic City Council was scheduled to consider a bankruptcy filing as a last resort to avoid defaulting on the city’s debt.
Instead of bankruptcy, which no New Jersey municipality has entered since Fort Lee during the Great Depression, Christie said state officials could right-size Atlantic City by taking over many of its government powers for five years. A series of “tough choices” would ensue, he said, such as slashing costs, privatizing services, selling city assets and possibly “amending or terminating” collective-bargaining agreements with local unions.
“The bottom line is that Atlantic City’s municipal finances are now the greatest threat to the city’s well-being,” Christie said.