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AC City Council, Casino Gaming

City Council Needs an Economics Lesson

   We agree with Roger Gros’s recent blog post, “Delaying the Inevitable,” where he states:

The idea that Atlantic City could or should control how a company develops its property—casino or not—is simply ludicrous. A company responds to many things, but most importantly, it responds to the economic conditions under which it must build its projects. To think that a government could force a company to build according to its original timetables when economic conditions change so radically is akin to forcing developers to leave or not even consider Atlantic City.

[…]

So maybe the City Council of Atlantic City should go back to school to learn basic economics. Private companies are beholden to shareholders who demand fiscal responsibility from company officials. To betray that duty to shareholders would verge on the criminal. So Atlantic City’s effort to “hold their feet to the fire” as Mason said is foolhardy and will eventually dry up investment dollars that would normally be committed to the city.

—Roger Gros

Mr. Gros’s analysis is spot-on the mark.   I wish that there were more people pointing out that the City Council is largely devoid of sound economic principle.   The same City Council that is responsible for the creation of a near-$200 MILLION budget, for 40,000 residents, lacks the understanding of how a market economy operates.   Let us review the Councilmen.

—Councilman William “Speedy” Marsh has held numerous positions for different boards of education.  

—Mr. Mancuso is a teacher and coach.  

—Mr. Mason has a background in security services and working for the police.  

—Mr. Ward is a lawyer and former health administrator and professor.  

—Mr. Small is a Board of Education employee and former social worker and employee with the Boys and Girls Club.  

—Mr. Moore is a community organizer and former social worker.  

—Mr. Tibbitt is a union worker and tradesman.

—Mr. Robinson has worked with various youth centers relying on government funding.

—Mr. Schultz operates multiple businesses in Atlantic City.

I invite reader response, especially if I am neglecting any of the Councilmen’s jobs and business experience.   However, from the information that has been provided to the public, City Council – with a few exceptions – has very little economic understanding.  They are good at spending our money, but have little experience and exposure to handling their own budgets in a market economy.

(We thank www.cityofatlanticcity.org for the photographs.)

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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

2 thoughts on “City Council Needs an Economics Lesson

  1. Thanks for the link, Jesse. I could not agree with Mr. Gros more. Not only are the members of city council (with the possible exception of John Shultz) completely unqualified to evaluate a $200 million budget, but they are completely out of their league in the effort to sell Bader Field. Just to put it on the market in this worst economy in 75 years, is tantamount to civic irresponsibility. Anyone who advocates this course should be immediately removed from office and returned to the 8th grade so they can learn arithmetic.

    Posted by dave202 | October 15, 2008, 11:13 pm
  2. What an embarassment to think that this is the council. I’m wearing a bag over my head.

    Posted by reader | October 21, 2008, 7:30 pm

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