Joe Kelly.

MR. KELLY: Madame Chairperson, Commission members, my name is Joe Kelly, and I'm the president of the local Chamber.

We have over 450 local business members, and I know that we've heard these numbers a great deal, but they're so compelling that it's worth repeating. Seven billion in taxes, 300 million annual funding for seniors and the disabled, 750 million towards local projects, 50,000 jobs. These are telling and very important economic data, and it's been important for our community to grow.

Also, the Chamber -- volunteerism. I don't know that we've talked a great deal about that yet this meeting, and our Chamber is a small Chamber. We simply could not do what we do without the volunteers out of the casinos. They provide leadership. They provide talent, and they're the lifeblood of our volunteer organization.

Regarding recommendations, we encourage the Commission to leave the regulation at the local level, at the state level. It's working.

You're going to hear reports throughout next week or tomorrow, and you'll see that that is working, and that's important. We think it ought to be left at the local and at the state level.

Don't over tax the industry. Over taxing the industry will keep them from doing what they do best, and that's create jobs.

I do have two pieces of information I'd like to enter into the record, and I won't take the time this evening. I know we're short, but we have a resolution from the National Conference from Christians and Jews, and it does a very nice job of making their statements on the industry, and it was recently done at an awards program with hundreds of youth in the room, and we'd like to enter that.

Also we have an impact study put out by the Atlantic Energy talking about the future development, and so I'll enter both of those.

In closing, one of the things that we've seen at the Chamber in the recent weeks is a coming together of labor, coming together of business, coming together of big business, small business, regional groups, local groups.

And I attribute part of that to the Commission coming to town. That's appreciated. That's welcomed, and we think the pooling of efforts locally -- and if you've been the catalyst for that, that's a very good thing, and we appreciate that.

We also appreciate you taking the bus tour today. We thought that was a good opportunity to truly see the community.

We believe that you'll do a good, objective study.

Thank you very much. We're proud to be in this city.


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