Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex/Morris) cited budget testimony Monday by Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles Richman in questioning Gov. Christie’s ability to oversee Atlantic City’s fiscal affairs.
“The Commissioner made it clear during our budget hearing today that the administration continued to reward Atlantic City with transitional aid despite the fact that the city repeatedly declined to make the difficult decisions needed to mitigate a financial crisis.
“The lack of effort by the administration to compel Atlantic City to make these tough fiscal choices, calls into question Gov. Christie’s competence in overseeing Atlantic City moving forward.
“If Atlantic City refused to make tough decisions, then why did DCA give them transitional aid in 2014 and 2015, when this can be used to compel city actions? Why didn’t DCA hold their feet to the fire to compel the city to make the so-called tough decisions?
“Equally troubling is that the Commissioner could not detail how much a state takeover, as favored by Gov. Christie, would cost the state taxpayers. Perhaps this is why even Republicans on the Budget Committee questioned the Governor’s conviction to fix Atlantic City over last five years.”