Says personal animosity must take a back seat for Atlantic City reform to succeed
The increasingly public feud between Senator Jim Whelan and Mayor Lorenzo Langford is threatening to derail bipartisan efforts to revitalize Atlantic City and bring sorely needed economic growth to the region, charged Assemblyman Vince Polistina today, calling on both men to ?start putting the best interests of area residents ahead of their longstanding personal animosity for each other.?
Polistina has voiced his concerns with Langford calling Governor Chris Christie?s office during a press conference last month and for the racially-charged editorial column published in today?s Atlantic City Press.
?While I appreciate his desire for increased communication, some of Mayor Langford?s counter-productive comments and critical tone are not in the best interests of Atlantic City, its residents and its future,? said Polistina, who said he?s worked hard to facilitate communication among local, county and state officials. ?I urge the Mayor to rethink his approach and work with the Governor, business leaders, industry and members of the legislature on both sides of the aisle to revitalize Atlantic City, spur economic growth and create jobs.?
Polistina said that the focus on personalities is detracting from the need to implement the tourism district law.
?Recent attempts to cast the relationship with Mayor Langford in a negative light by Senator Whelan were cheap shots that reflect his political paranoia and are only interesting to political insiders,? said Polistina. He added that his working relationship with Langford isn?t what should worry voters, but that the lack of relationship between Whelan and Langford should worry voters.
?I?m the State Assemblyman representing Atlantic City; if I don?t have a working relationship with the Mayor and Council in Atlantic City then I?m not doing my job as a representative. After 30 years in politics, it?s troubling to me that Senator Whelan doesn?t recognize something so basic,? said Polistina, who met the Mayor ten years ago through their mutual involvement in local charities and has maintained a cordial relationship through the years.
?As elected representatives in Atlantic County, the future of success of Atlantic City and this region should trump all else. The fact that Atlantic City?s Mayor and State Senator don?t speak to each is a major problem. They don?t need to like each other, but they must end this feud and begin working together in order for the City and region to succeed.?