• Lynda Cohen

Judge will not interfere in vote to change Atlantic City form of government

Updated: Mar 12

The much-debated vote on whether to change Atlantic City’s form of government will still happen March 31.

Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez denied an injunction filed by the Atlantic City Democratic Committee to halt the vote.

Atlantic City Residents for Good Government has led the charge to change the current mayor-counsel form of government to a municipal manager form. Many city leaders have been vocal against the move, alleging ulterior motives from its leadership — casino union President Bob McDevitt, Resorts Casino owner Morris Bailey and retired North Jersey state senator, Raymond Lesniak. The Atlantic City Democratic Committee has been working since last month to get a ruling against the vote.

But on Wednesday, Mendez said the vote should go forward, and that it would be the public who is most harmed by any interference.

“The court is of the opinion that the public and voters of Atlantic City retain their ability to freely decide for themselves the form of government (in) Atlantic City,” he wrote in his ruling.

The main incentive for his decision is the that “the right to vote is a fundamental constitutional right.”

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