Atlantic City spent more than $65,000 to purchase cars for three council members against the wishes of state officials who are overseeing the city's finances.
One of the purchases was made just hours after the state Local Finance Board approved the city's 2012 budget.
The state did not ban the city from buying the cars.
However, state Local Government Services Director Tom Neff says that “seemed to fly in the face” of what the agency is trying to do in the city.
Councilman Frank Gilliam tells The Press of Atlantic City the cars are a relatively minor expense compared to $143 million-plus in tax rebates and $4.5 billion ratable base devaluation brought on by tax appeal case settlements reached since 2011.
NBC10 spoke with Moisse Delgado, a council member who is driving one of the city-purchased cars. He claims they’re a necessity for the city.
“We’ve utilized it to do hands on services to the community, constituent services,” said Delgado. “It’s kind of difficult, as you would imagine, to deliver 400 turkeys into the community in a compact vehicle. SUVs help out.”