|Address||28 Lighthouse Court |
Atlantic City, New Jersey , United States
|Last Modifed||New Jersey Politico|
Oct 10, 2021 08:21pm
|Info||As the first Republican in over twenty years to be elected mayor of Atlantic City, Mayor Don Guardian had a historic and successful tenure as mayor of the world-famous Atlantic City from 2014-2018. Despite a 70% drop in assessed values and $100 million annual shortfall, Mayor Guardian rescued the city on the edge of bankruptcy. He cut the annual budget of $262 million by $40 million to $221 million, trimmed a bloated government by 400 jobs, and froze any proposed tax increases. He repaved roads, rebuilt the boardwalk, installed 9,000 LED street lights, brought in major investments, lowered Internal Affairs complaints by 70%, and reduced violent crime by 20%. He rebuilt city parks and playgrounds and all basketball courts with outside funding. He helped create financial incentives for business entities such as Bass Pro Shop, Waterfront Conference Center at Harrah’s, South Jersey Gas corporate offices, Stockton University’s city campus, the $14 million observation wheel at Steel Pier, Hard Rock Resort and the reopening of Showboat Hotel - all resulting in more than 3,500 new jobs. From the mayor’s office, Mayor Guardian developed a “Mayor’s Job Placement Program” that helped place over 780 city residents in jobs during his term. But perhaps most significantly, Mayor Guardian provided no tax increase in 2015 and 2016 and a 11.4% property TAX DECREASE in 2017. |
Following his tenure as mayor of Atlantic City, Don was hired as business administrator in Toms River. As administrator, he ensured delivery of high-quality services through programs and public private partnerships. He oversaw two years of no tax increase and brought in over $10 million of State and Federal funding for municipal projects. Toms River received a $5.6 million grant for downtown traffic plan and a $6.6 million grant for adding ⅓ mile beach front property. He repaved 25% of township roads, renovated and built 12 pickleball courts, a skateboard park, two skating rinks, an outdoor fitness center, two kayak launches and kayak storage. He also established a hiring freeze for 2 ½ years. Under administrator Guardian’s leadership, Toms River received A+ bond rating.
Prior to becoming Mayor of Atlantic City and Business Administrator of Toms River, Mayor Guardian was the Executive Director of the Atlantic City Special Improvement District for over 20 years. As Executive Director, he managed an annual budget of $5 million and led the nation in effective cost management of environmental service programs to ensure cleaning of pedestrian walkways, vacant lot maintenance, graffiti removal, steam cleaning and public space furniture maintenance, providing landscape design, construction and management of open spaces, parks and boulevards, developed design, funding, installation and maintenance for public space furniture including: benches, trash receptacles, recycling receptacles, banners, street lamps, banners, bus shelters, as well as boardwalk and beach signage.
Outside of his professional duties, Mayor Guardian has served in numerous civic positions either as a member, president, or vice president of the following organizations: Board of Gardner’s Basin Foundation, Board of South Jersey AIDS Alliance, Rotary, Board of Metropolitan Business Association, Board of Atlantic City Boys and Girls Club, Board of New Jersey Downtown Association, and the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce.
As a 1971 high school graduate of Don Bosco Prep and a 1975 college graduate of Upsala College, Mayor Guardian and his husband Louis have resided in the South Inlet section of Atlantic City, New Jersey for over 25 years.