N.J. Congressman: Sandy funds still needed for infrastructure, businesses

N.J. Congressman: Sandy funds still needed for infrastructure, businesses (via NJ.com)

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – While public officials welcomed the news that the latest round of Hurricane Sandy recovery money will cover the New Jersey’s unmet need for housing funds, one congressman says that the funding does not go far enough. U.S. Rep…

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Posted: May 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Hurricane Sandy, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama Administration Looking To Divert Billions in Sandy Funds Away From New Jersey and New York

By Art Gallagher, artvg@aol.com

repost-us-image-10549927The Obama Administration is considering holding a contest for areas impacted by disasters other than Superstorm Sandy.  The “winners” would get between $1 billion and $2 billion of the remaining $3.6 billion is Sandy relief dollars being doled out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal

The Record reports that New Jersey Congressmen Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson; Albio Sires, D-West New York; and Frank Pallone, D-Long Branch, and Sen. Bob Menendez are urging HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan not to divert federal aid to projects in other parts of the country.  Members of the New York Congressional Delegation are making similar pleas.

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Bookerism of the Day

Where’s Senator Cory Booker?  He’s proselytizing on twitter. 

Sires told The Record that the entire New Jersey delegation could join together in opposition to a nationwide contest for the money.  That would be great!  Sires should lead the Democrats in the delegation in ending the partisanship that has been dominating the discourse over Sandy recovery and sign the letter to Donovan and Michael Boots, the Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality that Congressman Chris Smith invited him, and all members of the delegation to sign requesting a meeting to hash out the multitude of issues New Jersey residents are having with the HUD relief process.

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Posted: April 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Cory Booker, Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

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: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hurricane Sandy victims make do in trailers as they wait to rebuild

Hurricane Sandy victims make do in trailers as they wait to rebuild (via NJ.com)

Tina Napalo lived in a bungalow-style house on Fourth Street in Union Beach for more than 20 years. “I didn’t have everything,” said the 40-year-old mother of four, but, “it took me a long time to get what I had.” Then Hurricane Sandy hit.…

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Posted: March 16th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Highlands, Hurricane Sandy, Keansburg, Middletown, Monmouth County, Obama Administration, RREM, Sea Bright, Superstorm Sandy, Union Beach | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Menendez Rebuts Christie Over Blame for Stalled Sandy Relief Aid

Menendez Rebuts Christie Over Blame for Stalled Sandy Relief Aid (via NJSpotlight)

Who is to blame for the slow pace of New Jersey’s recovery from superstorm Sandy? Gov. Chris Christie blames federal red tape and regulations for holding up the distribution of aid money to storm victims in New Jersey. But New Jersey’s senior U.S.…

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Posted: March 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Bob Menendez, Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christie broke no rules in awarding no-bid Sandy contract, audit finds

Christie broke no rules in awarding no-bid Sandy contract, audit finds (via NJ.com)

TRENTON — A federal audit released today concludes that Gov. Chris Christie’s administration did not violate any rules in awarding a no-bid contract to a politically connected company to haul away debris left by Hurricane Sandy. But the audit by the…

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Posted: March 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off

Chris Christie signs order to speed razing of Sandy-damaged homes

Chris Christie signs order to speed razing of Sandy-damaged homes (via NJ.com)

Calling Hurricane Sandy-damaged homes that have not yet been torn down an “ongoing emergency,” Gov. Chris Christie signed an executive order aimed at speeding up the process of razing unsafe properties. The order puts the New Jersey Department of…

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Posted: March 2nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, DCA, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , | Comments Off