Location: Atlantic City’s Inlet
I keep getting calls and e-mails about Ordinance 49. Atlantic City residents keep handing me the sword because they are afraid of repercussions.
In fact, I have been informed, what started as a simple column last year covering a new law has “gotten personal.”
I’m not sure if that means “personal” against me, or against homeowners and I don’t really care. I am sorry the homeowners are afraid.
Let’s take a look at some of the headlines the past couple of weeks.
1) Casino win figures were down again from the year before. March had five weekends, warm weather, and an extra casino as well.
2) Casino property assessments are slashed with more casinos appealing their assessments.
3) Resident property taxes are going up 9 percent
4) There’s not enough money to go around.
5) Mayor gets a raise.
6) Shootings, shootings, shootings.
7) CRDA spends $800,000 on a master plan that calls for family-friendly housing.
8) We have established “friendship” with a city in China whose name I can’t pronounce to encourage tourism from a town across the world.
Now for some reality not in the news: City inspectors are knocking on doors at newly outlawed rental homes telling tourists who are already here they are in violation of the law. Some of these tourists and homeowners reserved their vacation homes when there was no Ordinance 49 on the books in A.C.
From selected e-mails:
“We are still being harassed with tickets from code enforcement plus they are harassing our vacationers knocking on doors and telling them they are occupying the property illegally. In one case they knocked on the door for a full 15 minutes until finally the tenants answered the door”
“They accosted the tenants when they got out their luggage at 9:30 at night.”
Strangers approach me to talk about A.C. and her problems and most statements are not fit for reprint.
Here are some of my thoughts, in plain English:
We are spending millions of dollars telling folks to DO AC. We can’t welcome them to town by telling them they are doing it illegally.
Europe looked better when I visited 35 years after WW2 then Atlantic City looks 34 years after gambling.
Revel cannot save Atlantic City by itself.
More homes will be boarded up if investors cannot rent them out.
Atlantic City and America were built putting the interests of the whole ahead of the interests of the parts.
Outlawing family rentals makes as much sense as outlawing booze in A.C. They are different tourist markets with different needs. There are plenty of better ways to deal with this.
When I was a kid I was taught new math. It confused our parents who couldn’t help with homework. But old math or new math, 1 + 1 always equals 2 and you still can’t fit 8 pounds of worms in a 2-ounce can.
It’s time we re-bait the tourism hook with fresh worms and start keeping the fish we manage to reel in by doing what we can to ensure their return.
We don’t have much time to make the town work right. You only get so many chances. Let’s pull together and do it right. Otherwise: Last one out of town, please turn off the lights.
Geoff Rosenberger is a Broker Associate at Marketplace Realty. Read more of the acweekly.com columnist, Margate City resident and self-proclaimed visionary’s “Geoff’s Page,” including local snap shots, thoughts, Atlantic City news, random musings, GLBT-related news, “The Real Report,” and happenings every week — only at acweekly.com.
E-mail Geoff at email@example.com or call him at 609-385-7585.
What do you think? Leave your comments and thoughts below.
Atlantic City is at the bottom of an economic heap, trying to dig herself out of a hole where underemployment and unemployment is well over 25 percent. We live in a county where 35 percent of the work force is tied to the casino industry in a town that has reported so many declines in gambling revenue the state had to step in and take over.
As I read through the close to 100 posted comments, thoughts came to mind about our responsibility as citizens, Atlantic City residents, and Americans.
Some year-round residents have empty pockets from money needed. Tourist dollars flow through many hands. They are spent over and over again by locals paying their bills. We need to bring back the old Atlantic City where we concentrated on spreading affluence and money everywhere.
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