Is Camden ready to run itself?
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
New Jersey’s next Governor says he doesn’t want to wait until 2012, when state control of Camden New Jersey is slated to expire, to return control to the city. Governor-elect Chris Christie says years of pouring state money into the city have been a failure, and he wants to end it as quickly as possible.
Many Camden leaders says they initially supported the state takeover because they hoped it would help Camden residents. But seven years in they say too much state money went to established institutions, while life for Camden residents stayed pretty much the same.
Michael Doyle is pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Camden.
Doyle: The City of Camden..its terrible problem is the fact that it does not have a tax base and therefore can not sustain its basic needs of education, and public works, and public safety. It doesn’t have at all a tax base to do that. So then it has to depend on the state. There’s no other option.
Doyle says he supports returning control to local politicians, but he says the state would still need to provide funding to keep the city running.