Atlantic City Mayor on the aftermath is his town
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. gave an impassioned speech Sunday night after the protests in his town turned to riot and looting. He admonished his citizens for working with outsiders calling it "Atlantic City at its worst," and challenged them to come out Monday and help clean up the mess.
They saw close to 200 people show up. Small came on my New Jersey 101.5 show Monday night to talk about it.
"I'm a mayor that's very close to its constituents. When you've been in office as long as I have, you're a polarizing figure to some, that just comes with the territory, but I'm one who just tells it like it is," Small said, "I'll always be true to who i am and I'll always stand up for the city that I love."
While Sunday night was, in the mayor's words, "Atlantic City at its worst," Monday was much better.
"As a leader you have to project hope and today was one of those days you saw Atlantic City at its best. You saw people rally, come out of nowhere. It was a good thing that we did today," Small said.
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Like Small said in his speech Sunday night, he believes outsiders were involved in the rioting that took place in Atlantic City.
"A majority of them were outsiders but the disappointing part was the Atlantic City residents played a part with the outsiders. If you're going to record somebody trashing your town and you live here and potentially costing people their jobs, I think you have a responsibility to step up," Small said.
Small, who was out in the streets Sunday night, said police and officials were outnumbered, but after speaking to Gov. Phil Murphy got 60 state troopers with possibly another 50 coming. There is also a 7 p.m. curfew until June 8. Small said the relationship between the police and the people of Atlantic City is much improved.
"Under the direction of Chief Henry White, the relationships have improved tremendously. You don't see as much police brutality and dog bites that we used to see on a daily basis." Small adds. "You have to also understand that particularly now at this moment where people are with law enforcement, so i'm sure there are some ill feelings towards not only the Atlantic City Police department but others as well, because of the heinous acts that continue to happen throughout our country."
Small was also quick to respond that it's not all police.
Small said he will be going after those who did the looting.
"One thing about Atlantic City, we have a high-tech surveillance history. A lot of those store cameras are pumped right into our police department. I think that process has begun and people will be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent of the law," Small said.
When asked how long it will take Atlantic City to recover, Smalls said it's not just an Atlantic City thing, but a nationwide thing because people are lashing out.
"It couldn't have come at the worst time because he had just signed the executive order allowing people to reserve short-term rentals, online marketplace such as Expedia, Airbnb. Their hotels are open except for the casino hotels as we take steps to get back to work," Small said. "It's definitely a setback, as for the long term effects we can't answer that right now, but we're going to do our best to work with Tangers Outlets and other businesses that were damaged because we need to work together, it's extremely important."
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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