No A.C. produce store indicator of city woes

Newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania report on Atlantic City’s woes from time to time, expressing the mystery of its dysfunction.

Recently there was a story in The Press about Atlantic City having no place to buy produce north of Albany Avenue. What’s the mystery?

Store owners, supermarket owners and retailers go into an urban area with a business plan. The first consideration is whether their customers will feel safe, in a clean well lit, appealing location. And recently the answer to all those concerns in most areas of Atlantic City has been no. I know owners of stores in the city that won’t go to the city where their store is located. Why?

Because Atlantic City can’t pave its streets in need of repair. Atlantic City can’t show a visible presence of police protection. Atlantic City can’t clean its sidewalks and streets effectively enough in most areas to have visitors say it’s a clean city. The city can’t keep habitual shoplifters off the streets or incarcerate them, even if they are arrested multiple times (thanks to the bail reform bill).

All that and with a reputation of having a larger opioid crisis than Newark to boot, should shut the door on any green grocer’s thought of coming to town. Although it’s oddly not a crucial problem, it’s a negative bellwether of what’s wrong with Atlantic City.

Frank D. Formica

Atlantic City Atlantic County freeholder

Non-members should pay unions for their services

Regarding the recent commentary by Trey Kovacs, “Reform unions, not laws protecting workers from their excesses”:

Kovacs opens with “it is an annual ritual on Labor Day for union officials and boosters to demand a rewrite of U.S. labor laws.”

Kovacs paints labor unions as demanding bullies that think non-members don’t “know what is best for themselves.” Kovacs opines conservatives’ annual bashing of labor unions for the Competitive Enterprise Institute as a labor policy analyst.

I searched online for articles by Kovacs, a graduate of Radford University, and found none positive about labor unions and labor laws. Radford is a public institution and therefore receiving funds from taxpayers. Taxpayers include members of the National Education Association, steelworkers and unionized electrical, HVAC and construction workers that built buildings such as the offices of the university and institute.

Labor Day is time to reflect on the labor unions and workers who helped built America and contributed to the quality of life for all. People should acknowledge the organizations responsible for Labor Day and all the national holidays. Acknowledge also the advances achieved by labor unions, the five day 40 hour work week, OSHA, EEO and collective bargaining.

The American Postal Workers Union, of which I am president of Cape Atlantic Area Local 3617, is in arbitration with the United States Postal Service.

I think I represent non-members, pay dues to secure a fair contract from which non-members benefit and pay stewards and officials. I do not demand employees join the union, I do however expect them to pay dues for union services.

Kovacs reminded me why I am a proud member and official of a labor union.

Bill Shutz


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