As the State Assembly begins discussing taking over Atlantic City's city government, Mayor Don Guardian is taking bus-loads of residents to Trenton today. The Mayor spoke to us exclusively this morning about how far he is willing to go to stop the state, including even spending time in jail.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian spoke his mind Thursday morning about the state's attempts at taking over city government. As the state is considering coming to town and stripping local elected officials of their powers, the Mayor reiterated that the city is willing to do, "all of the financial tough decisions that need to be made."

Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney have agreed on legislation that would give state officials vast powers over municipal decision-making – such as the ability to break union contracts, sell city assets and lay off workers.

Governor Chris Christie Press Conference on Atlantic City
Office of the Governor

They announced the deal in late January with Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian by Christie’s side and on board, but the mayor has since called the idea a “fascist dictatorship” since seeing the bill’s details, even though they mirror what Christie and Sweeney outlined when the three held a Statehouse news conference.

In a recent edition of Ask The Governor, Gov. Chris Christie said of Atlantic City, "I have to have the freedom to do what needs to be done down there to fix the problem – bloated salaries, bloated pensions, bloated agreements, be able to negotiate with creditors. I’ve got to be able to do all that. If I don’t have the tools to do that, then why bother? It would just be a failed enterprise.”

When asked this morning how far he is willing to go to stand-up for the citizens of Atlantic City, Mayor Guardian said he will make sure, "everyone in New Jersey has a list of every Senator and Assembly [person] who's voting against police and fire, voting against collective bargaining, voting against civil rights, and we got to make sure we take these guys out in the next election..." Beyond that, the Mayor stated he would be willing to serve time in jail in order to defend the people of Atlantic City if it got to that point, referencing talk that if he disobeys the state's orders he could find himself behind bars.

Listen to Mayor Don Guardian's interview this morning in its entirety here:

Townsquare News Network's Michael Symons contributed to this story.

More From SoJO 104.9 FM