New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor says she believes the state’s intervention in Atlantic City is working and the city’s worst days are over.
Sheila Oliver, who also serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, says 18-months of state oversight have helped Atlantic City make progress in dealing with its debt, its health and pension obligations, and its ability to attract investment in new development projects.
Oliver says continued stability requires both budget and management discipline.
“The state will not relinquish oversight in the near term. However, the ultimate goal is to return to local control and decision making back to the city as soon as it has the capacity to run on its own.”
Oliver says state intervention began as an adversarial relationship with the city.
“We believe that our role should be more of technical assistance, oversight, helping the city build a leadership capacity to be able to wind its own way. And we think that we are establishing the platform to do that.”
Current law calls for a five-year state intervention. If the legislature decides that’s not required, Oliver says lawmakers could pursue legislation to change that.