Rebuilding Camden

From the Philly Inquirer:

So much spent, still so far to go
By Dwight Ott

New Jersey taxpayers have bet $114 million on Camden’s recovery. But four years into the state’s ambitious plan to revive the struggling city, progress has been slow.

Camden remains a sump of poverty, crime and lost hope, sucking down increasing amounts of outside tax dollars to maintain city services. The city is still in the clutches of corruption, scandal, high crime and mismanagement.

Oct. 28 marks the fourth anniversary of the state’s Economic Recovery Act. Its state-appointed chief operating officer, Melvin R. “Randy” Primas Jr., who resigned last week, is required to report his accomplishments to Gov. Corzine before he leaves his job and explain what happened to taxpayers’ millions.

But questions remain about whether the Recovery Act is already doomed.

“We need more money from the state today to balance the budget than we did before,” said Kelly Francis, vice president of the Camden Taxpayer’s Association.

The 15-member Economic Recovery Board in charge of saving Camden has spent almost $114 million of the $175 million earmarked for the city’s revival. The money gushes into the city in exchange for control of day-to-day operations, which was Primas’ job.

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27 Responses to Rebuilding Camden

  1. James Bednar says:

    From the Star Ledger:

    Draft report envisions lively future for Newark

    Newark’s downtown would be reimagined as a place where residents co-exist with a 24-hour central business district.

    The area around Newark Liberty International Airport would include an International Business Center that would provide jobs for Newark residents. And the city’s enhanced public ground transportation system would bring residents to those jobs.

    Those are just a few of the recommendations from a draft report released yesterday by the Regional Plan Association after more than 100 plans for city development were scrutinized.

    The plan calls for Newark to grow — literally.

    At its peak population in 1930, the city had 442,000 residents. Today, the city of 280,000 could add at least 100,000 more over the next few decades. But in order to grow, improvements in open space and parks, affordable housing and the ability of Newark residents to benefit from the city’s growth, are necessary.

    “The draft report offers compelling ideas across the board,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Stefan Pryor. “The infrastructure of this city is built to sus tain a larger population. There is a strong platform upon which to build.”

  2. pesche22 says:

    We should spend one dime on Camden.

    Its a town that needs to be bulldozed and its
    a do over.

  3. mistah says:


    They need more autodealers to sell cars for all the ones that get stolen from there. No alarm to all but this place still gets random drive by shootings!! 2 months ago a random gun down occured where a family cat and dog where shot to death and the house burned down

  4. gary says:

    Problem: Crime, high taxes, corruption; Solution: Extort more money from those trying to make a living resulting in once again, no changes.

  5. metroplexual says:

    Camden should just reboot, ctl alt del. It is called downsizing a city. when a property is abandoned and it would rrequire too much money to fix just bulldoze it. It is what Philly has been doing.

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