Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford was the keynote speaker as usual at the MBCA's Winter Luncheon at Resorts
As in previous years, the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association (MBCA) Winter luncheon kickoff event at Resorts in Atlantic City featured a keynote address — an unofficial state of the city address — by Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford.
Langford asked for a moment of silence for the recently departed Sister Jean Webster, a woman who dedicated her life to feeding the hungry in Atlantic City. Langford said he thinks of her as "our resident saint."
"Most of us can't imagine how her death will effect those who are less fortunate than we are," he added.
Reportedly, Sister Jean's soup kitchen will remain open.
Langford broke some news at the event, saying that a big-time promoter is working to put on a three-day music festival at Bader Field in June. One source says the three days of music would feature some of the best bands in the "jam band" genre.
(It might be a good idea to let the festival goers camp out at Bader Field ala Woodstock or other successful modern multi-day music fests.)
Langford also spoke about a big event planned for April, which the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority sent a media release on later in the day. The event? As reported by Atlantic City Weekly previously: a three-day rodeo in early April.
Langford also spoke to the assembled capacity crowd, which included local dignitaries as well as new Resorts owner Dennis Gomes and his family, about the state's proposed tourism district, saying that he is trying to get a meeting with the governor to voice his concerns face to face.
"I'm troubled by certain points in the proposed tourism district," Langford said to the crowd.
Some of the mayor's ongoing concerns — and City Council's — with regard to the state-run tourism district (a preliminary map of which was going around the Coconut Ballroom at the luncheon) include not enough city input from the community leaders, politicians and residents; making the city safer and cleaner in the residential neighborhoods as well as the tourism district; and how the policing of the district would be organized.
"We cannot segregate the city," Langford said. "We cannot create a tale of two cities [when it comes to safety and protection]."
Langford said he wanted a guarantee from the governor that police wouldn't be taken away from protecting the rest of the city and utilized in the tourism district once it is developed.
Langford also said he thought the city needed to do more to promote itself and that now is the time for investors to get in Atlantic City. He also detailed what has come out of the Democratic Strategic Planning Committee meetings thus far.
"We need to plan for the future," said Langford. "When the economy does turn around, and it will, [we need] to make Atlantic City a world-class destination."
Langford says he still embraces private-public partnerships in Atlantic City and the governor's proposed city-state partnering with regard to the tourism district. But, he warned, if the state does not assuage his — and many of Atlantic City's residents' and leaders' — concerns, a lawsuit could be the next move.
With only one month until the June 6 city-wide election, residents were anxious to express their concerns and see what Democratic candidates envision for the future of Atlantic City. The well-organized event was sponsored by the local N.A.A.C.P., the Venice Park Civic Association and the Westside Neighborhood Protection Association.
Dubbed “March Madness – The Mixer,” the Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association (MBCA) will hold its annual winter charity mixer at Cuba Libra in The Quarter at Tropicana starting 5:30pm Monday, March 11.
"We think we have the money set aside. We've identified the funding. We believe we have a good site but we may determine that there are other sites that we need to review as well."
Jubilee: "Things don’t work that way in policing. The Atlantic City Police Department has jurisdiction for the entire city.”
"There are those that don’t believe the Atlantic City fathers are capable of handling this business. And again, that speaks to a level of arrogance and it also speaks to an underlying air of racism — point blank, as I’ve pointed out."
The perception is that it’s all about gaming [in Atlantic City]. And clearly it’s much more than that so that’s the opportunity, to make sure that doesn’t happen."
It’s a partnership that has become almost legendary in Atlantic City — John Schultz and Gary Hill ....
With the current focus on non-gaming, family-friendly and cultural attractions in Atlantic City's future, here are some of the reasons why Ralph Hunter and the AAHMSNJ should have a home in Atlantic City:
It didn’t take long for Atlantic City to carve out its own niche in aviation history through the use of aerial attractions to lure visitors and the establishment of a local airport.
To camp or not to camp ... the promoter says there is no room for camping at Bader Field. Meanwhile, an authority on such music fests says camping really isn't the norm anymore.
"Revel Entertainment said Thursday that it has secured the final $1 billion-plus it needs to finish its half-built casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk."
There could be a link with the success of that Phish residency in Atlantic City — where the band's Trey Anastasio recorded a live album a few years back at the House of Blues at Showboat — and the three-day music festival that is expected to take place in June 2011 at Bader Field in Atlantic City.
The day after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sent staffers to visit Atlantic City Mayor Langford, the mayor says he doesn't feel much different about the concerns he raised last week and that the ball is in the governor's court now.
The mayor spoke about several city-created objectives, which could dovetail with the state plan for the city, as long as the two entities work with each other and communicate better moving forward.
"[B]ills and legislation affecting Atlantic City and the creation of a 'Tourism District' have been fast tracked, and despite promises and assurances to the contrary...."
"I get offended when the governor and others advocate that we need an increased police presence on the Boardwalk to create the ‘perception’ that the city is safe, because the reality is that the Boardwalk is safe. But even to address just the ‘perception’ [of the city’s tourists] they advocate more resources. What about the neighborhoods?"
The Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo will saddle up and ride into town arriving at Boardwalk Hall Friday and Saturday April 1-2 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 3 at 1pm. The event is a PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association) sanctioned event.
Watch the video of Atlantic City Mayor Langford on CNN Nov. 1 accusing Gov. Christie of a 'double standard.'