Bill Nowling, who was the spokesman for Detroit’s former emergency manager Kevyn Orr during the city’s record municipal bankruptcy, has been hired by Atlantic City, New Jersey, as the seaside resort deals with a fiscal crisis.
Kevin Lavin, Atlantic City’s state-appointed emergency manager, recommended him, Nowling said Tuesday. Nowling said he’s helping to coordinate media responses and how to present a restructuring plan to the community and creditors.
Lavin is working on a blueprint to address the city’s $101 million deficit this year and to shore up the finances of the gambling hub, where four of 12 casinos closed last year.
In a March report, Lavin, who initially had Orr as a consultant, said he may cut jobs and seek to defer debt payments. Bills affecting Atlantic City, such as one that would allow casinos to make payments to the municipality instead of taxes they’ve been challenging, are pending before state legislators.
“In the next couple weeks, I wouldn’t look for a wholesale revision of the plan or a new plan to be put on the table,” Nowling said. “The process allows for a status update within a certain amount of time and so we’re looking at, does it makes sense to do that, have we made sufficient progress with our key stakeholders and creditors to warrant an update.”
Nowling said he started working a week ago through a contract between the city and communications company Finn Partners Inc., where he’s a senior partner in Detroit. The contract goes through July 31, with compensation not to exceed $17,500, he said.