Atlantic City faces push to change its form of government

An effort is brewing in a New Jersey resort city to shift executive power from the mayor to a hired municipal manager.

Former State Sen. Raymond Lesniak is working with local casino and union leaders to bring "good government" to Atlantic City. But City Council members and some community leaders are pushing back, criticizing "a plot to gain control of this city by nefarious means."

Under the proposed model, a professional city manager would handle day-to-day operations, including budget preparation and overseeing contracts and personnel, tasks the state does now. Supporters would need about 1,100 signatures to get a November ballot referendum.

The city has been state-run since 2016 and mayor Frank Gilliam is under investigation by the IRS and FBI for possible campaign finance violations.