With the $2 billion Revel casino and hotel project in jeopardy, Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince Polistina question why Senator Jim Whalen has been silent on the issue.
?For a guy who keeps pushing for more state influence in Atlantic City, Senator Whelan has been strangely silent on the city?s efforts to facilitate the development of the Revel project and the petition drive to stop it,? said Polistina. ?When the city passed the ordinance, John and I applauded the city?s efforts. When the petition started circulating, John and I immediately said the petition was ill-advised. The state senator from this district should not remain silent when a $2 billion investment in our local economy is at risk.?
?Revel will employ 5,000 people once they complete construction. Why put those jobs at risk? People are looking for work right now,? said Amodeo. ?With the gaming competition from other states, the constant threat of VLTs, the delay of the Pinnacle project, and the general economic climate, we should be looking for ways to spur economic development, not delay it.?
Earlier this month, Atlantic City Council passed a $56 million bond ordinance to help with road improvements around the Revel casino and hotel project. Recently, a petition was submitted to the city calling for a voter referendum on the ordinance. The assemblymen said the referendum jeopardizes the casino and hotel project.
?The pattern of Whelan?s failure to stand up workers is disturbing,? Polistina said, referring to Whelan? s inaction during the state?s 2006 shutdown which closed Atlantic City?s 12 casinos and forced 36,000 casino employees out of work. ?After being excoriated ? to the point of being labeled as ?incompetent? and a ?coward? by former Senator Gormley- for his failure to stand up for the industry, Whelan ought to be more vocal now in protecting people?s jobs.?
?Two Republican assemblymen have joined with six Democrat city council members to do what?s right for the working people of our area,? said Amodeo. ?There should be a bi-partisan effort to fight for these jobs. It?s just a shame that the senator has not joined the fight.?