A new state report has found widespread waste in Atlantic City's City Hall, from personal use of city-owned cars to unneeded patronage jobs.It's shocking I say, in a Casablanca kind of fashion:
The report is the latest blow to the city of 40,000, which has a long history of political corruption.
"It is completely unacceptable that when our state is facing a gaping budget deficit and New Jerseyans are the highest taxed in the nation, Atlantic City is being reckless with taxpayer dollars," Gov. Chris Christie said in a statement.
State Comptroller Matthew Boxer says New Jersey law states city council members in a community the size of Atlantic City should not have aides.
Yet there are 11 aides for the nine city council members. The audit says the aides collect more than $480,000 a year and do little work.
One aide told auditors her only consistent duty was to read newspaper obituaries and find people from her councilmember's ward who had died so their families could be send letter of condolence.
In a response to the audit, City Council President William Marsh says he's tightening procedures for the aides but not doing away with them.
City officials justify their excess by claiming that they aren't being nearly as conspicuous in their consumption as their predecessors, as if that excuses their fiscal irresponsibility. They use city owned cars for personal use, and continue to drive the city into fiscal oblivion while the people of Atlantic City suffer with a lack of jobs and opportunities despite decades of promises that casinos would be their salvation.