TRENTON – Senator Wayne R. Bryant, D-Camden and Gloucester, released the following statement today regarding the Senate’s passage (34-1) of S-3006, a bill that renews the “Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act,” for another five years:
“In 2002, a former Chief Operating Officer (COO) Randy Primas was appointed and charged with the task of working with Mayor Faison and the Governor to help revitalize the city of Camden. In the five years since then, small steps have been made, but much more remains to be done in order to continue to develop Camden.
“In order for real revitalization to take place, and for the city to be able to stand on its own economically, there has to be a real partnership between the folks in power in Trenton and the governing body in Camden.
“My bill took the suggestion that we extend the term of the COO from five to ten years in order to allow a reasonable amount of time for change. I don’t believe that five years is long enough to allow for the rebuilding of an entire city. Just like the old saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day,’ Camden will not be rebuilt overnight. It is going to take some time, but I believe that the city can return to the once bustling, urban center that it was.
“This partnership is about working to make Camden more attractive to businesses and people looking to make the city their home. It’s about building new and private neighborhoods as well as expanding down town, because a city cannot thrive if most of its residents are impoverished. The pride of the city of Camden must be shown throughout the State.”
The “Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act” provided for the creation of the office of COO to help serve as a liaison between the Governor and local mayors.
Senator Bryant’s bill, S-3006, would expand the Act’s provisions to add an additional five years to the COO’s term, as well as requirement that the COO agree to turn ruling power back over to the mayor at the end of the term.
This legislation is also up for a vote today by the full Assembly. Passage in both the Senate and Assembly would send this bill to the Governor’s desk where his signature would make the bill State law.