• Lynda Cohen

State releases plan of action for Atlantic City

Updated: May 19

Accountability will be key in a new plan that lays out a path to real revitalization for Atlantic City, state and city leaders said as they officially unveiled an Implementation Plan. Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver said she knows that a schedule, deadlines and deliverables are important to residents of the town that have long been burned by unfulfilled promises. “This is one of those ways how you show team work actually makes a dream work,” Mayor Frank Gilliam said. The 21-page plan covers topics that include public safety, health and finance, youth development and government effectiveness and accountability. “It’s a nice day in A.C., right?” Oliver said as she walked in to the All Wars Memorial Building arm-in-arm with Gilliam to present the report. That a state official was making such an announcement in an area outside the Tourism District was not lost on residents who gathered there Monday morning. Oliver said later that she never really agreed with that designation, which was made by the previous administration. But the plan is about coming together, she, Gilliam and Special Counsel Jim Johnson stressed. “We do not believe in top down leadership,” Oliver said. The plan reflects recommendations in the Transition Report issued by Johnson last September, along with resident input from the Town Hall in January. This is “the next phase in our work to move Atlantic City forward,” Oliver said. “I have confidence in this plan because it has critical buy-in from the community, city stakeholders, and anchor institutions that have agreed to be mutually accountable for getting the work done, which makes for enduring progress.” The Atlantic City Initiatives Project Office, which worked with Johnson to prepare the Implementation Plan, will oversee and coordinate the day-to-day effort of executing the plan. It will also provide support for the work of the Atlantic City Executive Council, which was formed in October, and provides a structure for government, business, civic, and philanthropic institutions to share information, establish partnerships, and unite in common purpose. “There are so many positive things happening in Atlantic City because of the efforts of organizations across the city,” Johnson said. “The Implementation Plan builds on the work that is already underway by breaking down silos, reinforcing collaboration, and aligning resources. Together we are changing the narrative of this vibrant city.”

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