Assemblyman Chris A. Brown made the following statement today regarding Atlantic City Council?s use of taxpayer funded SUV vehicles:
?The purchase of new SUVs during these tough economic times is an abuse of taxpayer dollars. City council is spending over $65,000 on a perk for a select few who don’t need it, paid for by taxpayers who can?t afford it. While they are asking the fire and police departments to make cut backs, they turn right around and buy themselves new cars.
Families in Atlantic City are struggling to pay their mortgages and skyrocketing property taxes. It?s time their elected officials start making better choices. Council claims they can?t fund code enforcement vehicles ? a glaring public need that could actually generate revenue for the city ? but they can write a check to give themselves brand new SUVs.
The fact that council bought these vehicles after the Local Finance Board advised against it and the Press of Atlantic City editorialized in support of spending cuts isn?t surprising. But, after losing its tax appeals and seeking another $109 million in debt, these purchases are appalling. This is another example of Council sending the wrong message at the wrong time for all the wrong reasons.
The city only has 10 square miles of dry land. There is no reason for Council to be given special vehicles. They should climb out of their SUV?s and give up their taxpayer paid vehicles. If they were walking the streets, maybe then they would start to listen to what residents really need: more affordable taxes and a city focused on creating jobs.?