NJ Sandy planning moves forward on local level; experts say regional approach needed

NJ Sandy planning moves forward on local level; experts say regional approach needed (via NJ.com)

While trudging through the ongoing rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy, coastal communities pounded by the devastating storm are trying to form long-term strategies for addressing a wide-range of recovery needs with a finite amount of money. At the same…

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Posted: April 18th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The Politics Of Disaster Relief

By Art Gallagher, artvg@aol.com

When disaster hits, natural or man made, Americans put aside their differences and come together to handle the emergency.

We saw it with 9-11. Most recently in New Jersey we saw it with Superstorm Sandy.

Once the emergency is over and the federal money is flowing, the politics…partisanship and patronage starts.  We saw it with 9-11. We’re living it with Sandy.

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Posted: April 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, 2014 Elections, 2014 U.S. Senate race, 2016 Presidential Politics, 2017 NJ Gubernatorial Politics, Bob Menendez, Chris Christie, Chris Smith, Christie Administration, Congress, Cory Booker, Democrats, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Homland Security, Frank Pallone, George W Bush, Housing, Hurricane Sandy, Jennifer Beck, Jersey Shore, NJ Democrats, NJ State Legislature, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Christie Administration Asks FEMA To Give New Jersey Residents And Businesses A 6-Month Extension To File Flood Claims Related To Superstorm Sandy

photo by Art Gallagher

photo by Art Gallagher

TRENTON –The Christie Administration today urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to grant New Jersey residents and businesses who suffered property damage or destruction in Superstorm Sandy an additional six-month extension to file a complete flood insurance claim, or proof of loss, in connection with the storm. The Administration is asking that the filing deadline be extended from April 28, 2014 to October 28, 2014.

“Superstorm Sandy was the worst natural disaster to strike New Jersey in a generation, and the process of rebuilding has been expensive and complicated. Homeowners and business owners simply need more time to file their final flood insurance claims,” said Governor Christie. “Many property owners have begun to rebuild only to find there was more damage than they originally thought. This extension would give New Jersey residents the vital extra time they need to successfully navigate the flood claims filing process and restore and rebuild their properties.”

A proof of loss is a form used by the policyholder to support the amount they are claiming under the policy, which must then be signed, sworn and submitted to the insurance company with proper supporting documentation. An extension of the filing deadline would give homeowners and business owners additional time to evaluate newly discovered damages and costs, obtain proper documentation, and submit detailed information in a supplemental proof of loss.

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Posted: April 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Christie Administration, FEMA, National Flood Insurance Plan, Press Release, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Along Jersey Shore, towns build ‘sandcastle dunes’ as they wait for federal beach projects

Along Jersey Shore, towns build ‘sandcastle dunes’ as they wait for federal beach projects (via NJ.com)

The hills of sand are supposed to act as fortresses that protect Jersey Shore communities from the ravages of the sea. In the 18 months since Hurricane Sandy, coastline towns awaiting federal beach replenishment projects have dumped hundreds of thousands…

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Posted: April 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Jersey Shore, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Monmouth And Ocean Senators Ask Congressional Delegation For Sandy Help

Six state Senators representing Monmouth and Oceans Counties have written to New Jersey’s U.S. Senators and Members of Congress asking for help in correcting inequities and inefficiencies in the federal government’s response to Superstorm Sanday.

In a letter dated March 31, Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County, Robert Singer, Christopher Connors and James Holzapfel of Ocean County and Sam Thompson of Middlesex raised six issues concerning Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Small Business Administration (SBA), FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation(RREM) grant program.

With all those agencies and initials, how could anything be going wrong?

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Posted: April 3rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: FEMA, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Menendez calls for hearings into post-Sandy flood insurance ‘low-balling’

Menendez calls for hearings into post-Sandy flood insurance ‘low-balling’ (via NJ.com)

MIDDLETOWN – Constituents have told Sen. Robert Menendez that the National Flood Insurance Program is feast or famine – high premiums feast on Jersey Shore residents, while low payouts force tough decisions on homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy…

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Posted: March 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Bob Menendez, FEMA, Middletown, National Flood Insurance Plan, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Governor Fields Questions About Post-Sandy Relief at Latest Town Hall

Governor Fields Questions About Post-Sandy Relief at Latest Town Hall (via NJSpotlight)

Gov. Chris Christie heard more tales of woe from people still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy at his latest town hall meeting yesterday. It was the sixth Q&A he’s held in Belmar, as well as the sixth town hall he’s held since the Bridgegate…

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Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Belmar, Chris Christie, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , | No Comments »

Christie’s Belmar Town Hall Pushed Back 1/2 hour

Photo Credit: Paul Scharff Photography.

Photo Credit: Paul Scharff Photography.

The Governor’s Office has announced that Governor Chris Christie’s Town Hall Meeting in Belmar on Tuesday, March 25 will start at 11:30am, instead of the previously announced 11:00 am.

The mobile cabinet meeting which will include Office of Recovery and Rebuilding Director Marc Ferzan, DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, EDA CEO Michele Brown and Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski is scheduled to start at 1PM, immediately following Christie’s Town Hall.

The Cabinet members will meet with affected residents and answer questions related to the available Sandy recovery housing and business assistance programs. Homeowners and business owners interested in attending can expedite the process by bringing relevant documentation related to the issue they are facing.

Christie plans to discuss the Administration’s plan for getting the second round of federal Sandy recovery funds into the hands of New Jersey families.  However, the Governor will take questions on any topic.

Residents can RSVP to TownHall.Belmar@gov.state.nj.us. Doors open at 9:30 am and seating is on a first come, first serve basis and open to the public. No bags of any kind are permitted in the venue and personal items are subject to search. Due to safety requirements, law enforcement officers will be in attendance and will wand all attendees.

 

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Sweeney Rejects Using COAH Funds For Sandy Rebuilding

Sweeney: RCAs “put poor white folk and poor black folk out of town”

Hornik: “No one in Trenton can honestly say that COAH is working”

IMG_9153 (640x391)Senate President Sweeney rejected out of hand an idea brought forth by Marlboro Mayor Jonathon Hornik this week that could potentially release $184 million in dormant funds for the benefit of Superstrom Sandy victims.

Hornik called for the reinstatement of Regional Contribution Agreements (RCA), in order to unlock $184 million in COAH funds to help residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy rebuild their homes in an OpEd piece published on MMM and PolitickerNJ.

RCAs were a practice that was in place to build affordable housing in New Jersey from 1985 through 2008 under the Fair Housing Act, whereby communities that had raised affordable housing funds through development could transfer those funds, and their obligation to build affordable housing within their own community, to other communities with an immediate need.  The legislature and Governor Corzine outlawed RCAs in 2008.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon issued a statement commending Hornik  and said,”When the Democrat leadership in Trenton killed the RCA program it was bad, short sighted policy that many of us knew would come back to bite us. Its flaws are now magnified by the plight of Sandy victims as many towns struggle with the economic burdening of rebuilding.”

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Posted: March 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: COAH, Declan O'Scanlon, Jon Hornik, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sweeney and Pallone confirm that Feds are the problem with Sandy relief

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Keansburg Deputy Mayor Jimmy Cocuzza, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Congressman Frank Pallone at Sweeney’s Town Hall Meeting in Keansburg, March 20, 2014

Senate President Steve Sweeney and Congressman Frank Pallone tried to feign non-partisanship yesterday at Sweeney’s Town Hall Meeting in Keansburg, the most recent leg on Sweeney’s Sandy Bill of Rights tour. “This is not about politics, or party,” Sweeney said as Pallone nodded “it’s about taking care of the people who need help and getting them the information they need.”

Sweeney’s bill seems to make perfect sense.  It requires plain language explanations of disaster assistance programs and gives applicants the right to know where they are in the process, where they are on waiting lists, and how to appeal.  The bill was cleared with amendments by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee, 4-0 with one abstention, Sen. Jennifer Beck, on Monday.

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Posted: March 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: FEMA, Frank Pallone, Keansburg, RREM, Stephen Sweeney, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »