Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian is poised for a soft landing after he leaves office next month.
Guardian, who lost his November re-election bid against Democratic candidate Councilman Frank Gilliam, will become the new business administrator in Toms River, an Ocean County town about 55 miles north of New Jersey’s gambling capital.
But, according to a statement by Guardian, his new job does not mean that he plans to relocate.
“Although I will still be living in Atlantic City, I look forward to commuting each day to Toms River and bringing with me all the local government knowledge that I gained over the past four years as mayor and the previous twenty years as the director of the local business district,” Guardian said. “Serving the residents of Atlantic City has been my most fulfilling job ever.”
Guardian was elected in Atlantic City in 2013, an unexpected victory for a Republican in the Democratic-leaning town. He has presided over the city during troubled times as Atlantic City saw five casinos close and the state takeover the city’s finances, something that the outgoing mayor vehemently opposed. But Guardian has also pushed for Atlantic City to shift it’s focus away from a gambling-only industry and has seen new investments in the town including the planned Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
The Toms River position will come with a pay bump for Guardian. As Atlantic City mayor, Guardian earned $103,000 annually. In Toms River, he will earn $175,000. His new position is contingent on approval by the city council.
Guardian’s new job was first reported by the Press of Atlantic City.