Does the Atlantic City Council have any idea how its arrogance, waste and foolishness play out statewide right now?
I was listening this morning to 101.5 - a statewide talk-radio station based in Trenton. Host Jim Gearhart was focusing on today's story involving City Council's desire to hire another aide. Essentially, council is thumbing its nose at a state order to eliminate all council aides because the positions are illegal in a town the size of Atlantic City. Not to mention the fact that the city is laying off cops and other workers because of a budget crisis.
Usually, this would just be typical talk radio, trying to turn news into entertainment by having fun with wasteful government. But the host was putting this story into the context of Gov. Chris Christie's state plan for Atlantic City, questioning whether any state funds might be used to support this kind of self-serving excess.
They won't, of course. Christie's made clear the state plans to spend little, if anything. And the only responsibilities a new state authority would have would be in the casino and tourism district, the golden goose that pays hefty taxes to the state.
Still, such conflating of City Hall antics and the state's plan for Atlantic City probably isn't confined to a single talk-show radio host. And you have to wonder how much public resistance for Christie's Atlantic City plan (according to a recent Fairleigh Dickinson poll, 48 percent opposed it statewide, with 38 approving) has to do with the outrageous actions of City Hall.
The two may have little to do with one another, but in terms of public perception, that may not matter.