The emergency manager N.J. Gov. Chris Christie appointed to help stabilize Atlantic City’s finances is proposing layoffs and ways to generate more revenue.
Kevin Lavin says his goal is to close Atlantic City’s $101 million budget gap without raising property taxes this year.
He’s recommending the city reduce its staffing and operations to cut expenses by $10 million.
“That’s going to be a combination of head count cuts and operational cuts,” Lavin said. “I would say the head count cuts would be somewhere in the 20 to 30 percent range from where we are today.”
His plan also calls for postponing some payments and redistributing casino revenue.
“Bankruptcy is not something we are contemplating,” Lavin said. “We think that this process can be done without that necessity.”
Lavin says mediators will be appointed to work with union leadership, casino representatives, and other stakeholders to put the city on a path to long-term fiscal stability.
Mayor Don Guardian is hoping that has a big impact.
“As we work this all together we’ll be healthy once again,” Guardian said. “We’ll be able to provide the services that our residents need and will be once again a place that businesses see as a good investment for them.”
Senate President Steve Sweeney says the emergency manager’s report does nothing more than dramatize a fiscal crisis that could have been stabilized five months ago if the Christie administration supported a recovery plan he proposed.