Mayor will preview her State of the City address at Cooper's Ferry event Wednesday

Cooper’s Ferry Partnership is charging residents $100 Wednesday at the Adventure Aquarium to listen to Camden Mayor Dana Redd and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno discuss the city’s economic development progress. The mayor also will “preview” her State of the City address, her spokesman Robert Corrales said.

And if you really want to put your two cents on the city’s economy in front of the city’s movers and shakers, be ready to put up $10,000. That will get you 20 VIP tickets; an award named by your CEO to hand out at the event and a speech from a representative of your organization to the crowd on issues “of your choice,” according to the Cooper’s Ferry website.

Some residents are not happy about the admission fee in, especially when the mayor will be discussing issues that relate to everyone living in the city beset by crime and poverty.

Mayor’s spokesman washed his hands of the issue, saying it’s Cooper’s Ferry event, but added that the mayor will present her State of the City address to all residents at the March 13 City Council meeting. However, the Camden Hero Awards (give to two people who have contributed in the last year to Camden's resurgence) and a tribute to the late Joseph A. Balzano of the South Jersey Port Corp. will not be repeated.

During ast year's meeting, Cooper's Ferry and the Greater Camden Partnership - two Camden-based nonprofits involved in redevelopment - announced they were merging. The mayor also announced the creation of the ombudsman position for the city to help make it more "business friendly." 

Cooper’s Ferry Jake Gordon, whom I ran into at the City Council meeting tonight, said the partnership needed need to charge to pay for the venue, food and … open bar.

“It’s the social event of the year!” Gordon said, kind of joking? (Last year former Gov. Jim Florio was there as well as several movers and shakers from the region.)

Many of the nonprofits received two free tickets, and the mayor received several tickets to give to residents.

If you do have the $100 or $10,000 (there are other levels of sponsorship for slightly less):

City on the Rise: Economic Development in Camden
Wednesday, February 15, 2012.
Currents Ballroom at Adventure Aquarium
One Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08102
3:30 pm-6:00 pm
Tickets $100/person

For questions and to R.S.V.P, contact AJ Jensen at (856) 757-9154 or