Part-Time Officials Shouldn’t Get Taxpayer-Funded Cars, Says Assemblyman [AUDIO]
Atlantic City is already getting a massive infusion of state aid amidst mounting debt and now there's news that the cash-strapped resort town is paying for eight of its nine part-time council members to have taxpayer-funded cars.
This has certainly gotten the attention of a pair of state lawmakers in Trenton. There's now a move afoot to put the brakes on the practice in any and every town.
"The idea that we the taxpayers of New Jersey are pouring, literally millions of dollars into the Atlantic City economy to rescue the economy and we have council people driving taxpayer paid for cars is absurd. It's a slap in the face," says Assemblyman Tim 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 plans to introduce legislation banning part-time local elected officials from receiving city-issued vehicles in the interest of protecting taxpayers' dollars. The Assemblyman, who served 14 years as mayor and councilman of Maywood while receiving zero compensation, says he's 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.
"The state did not invest in creating the Atlantic City Tourism District so that local officials could squander this good will," explains Eustace. "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."
The issue has also gotten the attention of State senator Sam Thompson.
"As this issue develops, it becomes clearer that Atlantic City's brazen abuse of tax dollars to buy vehicles for part-time elected officials serving 10 square miles a prime example of why that resort town unfortunately needs state budget baby sitters."