Dear Senate President Codey,
I am writing to you today because I feel like I must express to you both my admiration for you and my deep disappointment.
Note the blackboard hanging off the side of the
school. One can also see furniture still in the school also being crushed. Click HERE or on image to see enlargement.
First let me tell you I feel in the short time you served NJ, you have had some great achievements. Thank you for putting a moratorium on the death penalty and banning smoking in most public places.
These two issues alone are huge.
In addition, I want to thank you for not only paying more attention to mental health but for taking up for your wife when the radio disc jockey attacked her over the radio.
I watched you interviewed on Atlantic City's Channel 40 during your last week in office, I was so impressed by your quiet eloquence, and also saddened to think the only reason you did not run was because of money.
All of this said, I must tell you how disappointed I felt that you did not step in to stop the demolition of the historic Ohio Avenue School in Atlantic City.
I sent you several letters, even if the letters I had written were cc to you.
I expected some kind of response, some action. I never even got more than one letter of response from your office, and that letter only sent me to a different part of your agency.
The Ohio Avenue School operated as a public school for over 100 years. In April of 2004, the children were taken from their classrooms and put into portable classrooms to finish the remainder of the school year.
These children, some of our most venerable, being poor and minority members.
The historic school was soon up on the block and sold for a fraction of its estimated value of 8.6 million dollars.
It was sold for 1.2 million dollars to CRDA. CRDA in turn gave the property to Caesar's Casino for a parking lot. Caesar's sold the property over to Harrah's Entertainment.
This "deal" was made possible by Dorothy Guzzo, who in April of 2005 decided that if Harrahs would give Saint Nicholas church $100,000.
Harrahs would have the state's blessing to demolish the historic school and possibly the former board of education building.
As a Democrat, I am outraged that our elected leaders say they are advocating for children, indeed you have been seen on TV advocating for literacy, have instead advocated for big private business at the EXPENSE of the children.
I really think it is IMMORAL to tear down a public school as well as a historic building for a parking lot for a casino. I think our government can do much better than this for its citizens, all of them.
I have attached the letter I have written to incoming Governor Corzine (see below). I will also send you a copy of the letter of request I have sent to Harrahs asking that instead of demolishing all of the three buildings, they save the two left standing and retrofit them for use in their business.
We have lost the school. Maybe, we do not have to also lose these historic structures.
I would certainly appreciate a letter of support for this idea or even better that you could negotiate a deal so we don't lose these buildings. I wish you well in the future what ever your endeavors are.
Gwen Goodwin, Chair
for The Committee to Save the Ohio Avenue School
153 York Avenue,Suite C
Cape May, New Jersey 08251