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The Law States Citizen Referendum Petition is Valid

   Say what you will about Local 54 President, Bob McDevitt’s motivations, he orchestrated a successful petition to block the city ordinance granting Revel Entertainment special financing rates. The Local 54 foot soldiers obtained well more than the needed signatures to halt Revel’s borrowing through the government. New Jersey state statutes clearly indicate the following, as referenced by Seth Grossman in his recent essay:

“Two state laws give Atlantic City voters the right to block local ordinances by petition. NJSA 40:49-27. lets voters in any town block any ordinance which incurs debt. NJSA 40:69A-185 lets voters in ‘Faulkner Act’ towns like Atlantic City block ‘any ordinance.’ The petitions must be signed by 15% of the people who voted in the most recent election for State Assembly.

[…]

“By the way, the headline in our daily newspaper, ‘Local 54’s petition on Revel roads dies in Atlantic City’ was wrong. Only a Superior Court judge can declare that the petition is no good. City Clerk Rosemarie Adams does not have that power. Neither does the City Solicitor, nor the unnamed official in the state’s Office of Legislative Service who wrote a letter to Senator Jim Whelan. Each of the 3,000 voters can file a lawsuit to force the City Clerk to do her job-again. However, they must act within 45 days of September 5.”

Let the people have their vote City Council.  Let the people have their vote Office of Legislative Services, District 2 elected officials, City Clerk, and Press of Atlantic City.  The people should have the opportunity to voice their opinion on multi-million dollar borrowing that draws on their credit rating.

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About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “The Law States Citizen Referendum Petition is Valid

  1. Jesse,

    You never say what exactly happened to the petition.

    Posted by Cecilia | September 9, 2008, 10:39 am
  2. Or you didn’t say if McDevitt is going to challenge Whelan’s ruling. I think they’re both in bed together and McDevitt knew from the start it would be worthless but he wanted to send a message to Revel. He’s got so many conflicts of interest here, it’s astounding.

    Posted by dave202 | September 9, 2008, 3:02 pm
  3. Thankfully, the state legislature had the sense to ensure that issues such as municipal bond financing could not be overruled by referendum. Democracy is live and well. Voters have the right to vote for their elected officials and express their opinions in the press and blogosphere. This does not mean, however, that special interests should have the right or ability to block important development measures in order to extort the developer to labor negotiations with local unions.

    Posted by The Hanky Panky Report | September 9, 2008, 11:07 pm

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