PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Chris Stigall talked with Don Guardian, the first Republican elected Mayor of Atlantic City in 23 years, this morning on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.
Guardian said he ran a grassroots campaign and heard a similar message throughout town that, “if you were a taxpayer, you were fed up about the increase in taxes and the reduction of services, you were upset that you heard the Governor and the President of the Senate saying [they] wanted to help Atlantic City, and yet there was a disconnect.”
Guardian told Stigall he saw a discrepancy in services provided in the tourism district compared with other parts of town and vowed ”to bring those services to the rest of the city and do it for a lot less money with fewer people.”
Listen To Interview With Atlantic City Mayor:
Stigall asked Guardian if he thinks his government needs to operate differently than it has in the past.
“Absolutely. We are way over staffed … we don’t have the technology we should’ve been buying over the last 10 to 15 years and we’ve been relying on casinos as a monopoly and that just doesn’t exist anymore,” Guardian explained.
“We’re closing the chapter of being a casino monopoly and we’re opening the chapter of providing those venues and activities that you don’t get in your home town and while we’re doing that, we need to keep it clean and safe,” Guardian said regarding Atlantic City’s transition away from the sole focus being placed on casinos and casino revenue.
Guardian stated he wants to increase the population of the city, grow the number of second residences owned by vacationers, and bring a four year university to the city as part of an effort “to reinvent ourselves as a city, rather than being just another Jersey Shore town.”