Egg Harbor Township, April 15, 2021 – Local small businessman, former Assemblyman and 2nd Legislative District State Senate Candidate Vince Polistina called for civil service protections to be restored in Atlantic City, accusing Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo of allowing the seemingly endless state takeover to gut protections for the city’s police and fire departments, and public workers.
Polistina pointed to comments in a POLITICO story from April 12th, where Mazzeo praised the takeover and welcomed a four-to-five-year extension, without condition. The state has had broad authority over the struggling seaside city since 2016, with the power to overturn city council decisions, restructure debt and even abolish city agencies.
Polistina said the takeover has been particularly harmful to the morale of public safety professionals in the city. Polistina pointed to a recent comment made by former Assemblyman Tom Foley where Foley stated he would reinstate civil service and collective bargaining rights to all public employees. Former Atlantic City Mayor, and current Assembly candidate Don Guardian echoed the importance of civil service: “Since 1908, we developed civil service so municipal workers were appointed or promoted based on merit, rather than political favoritism or nepotism.”
“I agree with Mayor Guardian and Assemblyman Foley that one of the top priorities in Atlantic City is restoring the rights of the public employees - and we should do that without delay,” Polistina said. “There is broad, bipartisan agreement that restoring these workers’ rights – that were stripped from them in 2016 – will do nothing to impede progress towards the city become self-sufficient and sustaining once again soon.”