Measure Comes Amidst Reports of Atlantic City Council Spending Taxpayer Dollars to Furnish Part-Time Members with Vehicles
Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic) on Friday announced plans to introduce legislation banning part-time local elected officials from receiving city-issued vehicles in the interest of protecting taxpayers’ dollars, following reports that cash-strapped Atlantic City is now paying for eight of its nine council members to have city-furnished vehicles.
“When towns everywhere are struggling in this economy to hold the line on taxes, Atlantic City, which is receiving a massive infusion of state aid amidst mounting debt, is callously disregarding the need to cut back,” said Eustace. “It’s especially disconcerting to hear certain officials dismiss the cost of the vehicles in light of other far greater debts the city owes. That is no way to instill confidence in residents, nor will it help right the city’s fiscal ship.”
Eustace, who served 14 years as mayor and councilman of Maywood while receiving zero compensation, said they are drafting the legislation in the interest of protecting taxpayers throughout the state who should not be forced to subsidize vehicles, especially for part-time workers, particularly when most residents don’t receive the same perk from their daily jobs.
“It’s sending a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ message to taxpayers,” added Eustace. “This is the height of disregard for the burden everyday folks are carrying right now. It’s also not a model for good governance. The state did not invest in creating the Atlantic City Tourism District so that local officials could squander this good will. Regardless of whether this practice has been going on for years, it’s time to put an end to it in Atlantic City and throughout the state. When families everywhere are being forced to tighten their belts, their government should be doing the same.”
Eustace hopes to introduce the legislation next Thursday when the Assembly is in session.