Camden may regain control sooner than expected

    Today the Democratically controlled New Jersey legislature is hurrying to pass legislation before Governor Jon Corzine is replaced by Republican Chris Christie.

    Today the Democratically controlled New Jersey legislature is hurrying to pass legislation before Governor Jon Corzine is replaced by Republican Chris Christie. One big piece of last minute work is deciding whether to hand control of one of the state’s poorest cities back to the city’s leaders.

    Listen:
    [audio: 100111lfcamden.mp3]

    Camden has been largely under state control since 2002. That oversight is set to expire in 2012, but the bill in Trenton would let the state end its supervisory role in Camden even earlier.  Supporters in the legislature say they want the city’s new mayor to be able to make more executive decisions on the future of the city.

    Dr. Richard Harris is a professor of public policy at Rutgers-Camden.

    Harris: There’s been a lot of development in the city and that’s been spurred on by some major institutions and some neighborhood investment but the major efforts at attracting private investment really didn’t pan out.

    The city’s new Mayor Dana Redd is also a former state senator and city councilmember. She has said she will use her experience at both levels of government, to lead the city.

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