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 »

A New Christie For A New Normal

IMG_6933If Governor Chris Christie’s presidential prospects have been damaged by the Bridgegate scandal and associated investigations, you wouldn’t know it by the amount of television cameras at the Town Hall Meeting in Port Monmouth this morning.  Middletown officials estimate the crowd was about 500 people. There was easily 50 members of the media including reporters, photographers and videographers.

There was no swagger from the Governor today.  No fist pumps, no snazzy introductory video, no in your face insults to hostile questioners.  Christie dodged the only hostile question he heard.  The Youtube moment came not from an idiot or thin skinned reporter, but from a three year old girl who said her house is still broken.

Bridgegate, the controversy over the September lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that has spurred investigations by the U.S. Attorney and a Special Legislative Committee never came up.  The people who came to today’s meeting would gladly trade places with the Bergen County residents who were inconvenienced by traffic jams for four days.  They been without their homes for 16 months.

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Posted: February 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: 2016 Presidential Politics, Chris Christie, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Welcome back to Monmouth County, Governor We’ve been waiting

“My message to the federal government, get the resources where they are needed as fast as possible, as hard as possible and for the duration. Because the recovery process, obviously in a place like New Jersey is going to take a significant amount of time….

I told the mayors and the governors, if they are getting no for an answer somewhere in the federal government, they can call me personally at the White House.”  ~ President Barack Obama, October 30, 2012

“On October 29 last year the job changed for me. It’s no longer a job, it’s a mission.

You see a mission is something that is different from a job. A mission is sacred.  It’s a sacred trust that was thrust on me, and you, on October 29 of last year.

And that mission is to make sure that everyone, everyone in New Jersey that was affected by Sandy to return to normalcy in their lives.

I will not let anyone, anything, any governmental entity, or any force get in between me and the completion of my mission.”  ~ Governor Chris Christie, November 5, 2013

Welcome back to Monmouth County, Governor Christie.  We’ve been waiting for you.

Posted: February 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Chris Christie, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Feds Turn Christie Administration Down On Waiver Of Sandy Relief Rules

IMG_3871 (640x427)The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has turned down a request from the Christie Administration that the rule requiring that reconstruction work on homes damaged by SuperStorm Sandy stop upon the homeowner applying for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation(RREM) aid, according to an Associated Press report posted on NJ.com and other outlets.

HUD rules require that the plans for all work on properties receiving RREM grants be evaluated and approved by the government.  Work done without the RREM approval is not eligible for reimbursement under the program, even if the work complies with all requirements.  This process has created a major logjam is funds being awarded and homes being rebuilt.

In an undated letter obtained late Tuesday by The Associated Press, HUD rejected the state’s request.

HUD says the rules, which have been the source of many complaints from homeowners struggling to rebuild after the October 2012 storm, are intended to make sure historically significant properties aren’t damaged or demolished, and that aid is not duplicated among the numerous Sandy reconstruction programs offered by federal and state governments.

Yolanda Chávez, HUD’s deputy assistant secretary for grant programs, wrote to New Jersey Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable listing other reasons why the rule can’t be dropped as well.

“If the construction does not meet elevation requirements and must be undone, resources will be spent with no benefit to the recovery,” she wrote.

If you’re going to Governor Christie’s Town Hall Meeting in Middletown tomorrow, expect to hear about this rule and others as the source of the delay in RREM funding, and as an explanation for why the multi-family projects outside of Sandy impacted areas, notably the Belleville and New Brunswick projects that have been in the news, have been approved while Jersey Shore residents are still waiting and not living at home.

Posted: February 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Christie Town Hall tomorrow expected to be “A cross between the Jerry Springer and Maury Povich shows”

Photo by Paul Scharff

Photo by Paul Scharff

Governor Chris Christie will likely be tan and relaxed after a holiday weekend in Puerto Rico when he arrives in Middletown for his first Town Hall Meeting since last June tomorrow.

He should be ready for bear.

Christie could get RREM’d tomorrow.

Bayshore residents who overwhelmingly voted for Christie in 2009 and again last November are ready to give up on giving Christie the benefit of the doubt. The politically connected feel he’s taken Republican Monmouth and Ocean Counties for granted.  Those still suffering from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy feel like Christie has ridden their suffering to national prominence while neglecting his self professed “mission” to rebuild the shore.

The powder keg of frustration with Christie was building before the election and certainly before Bridgegate.   Sandy victims brutalized by the storm feel further violated by the red tape and false starts peddled by all levels of government, banks and insurance companies.

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Posted: February 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Bridgegate, Chris Christie, Middletown, Monmouth County, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Will New Storm Brew Over Hiring and Firing of Shore Rebuilding Contractor?

Will New Storm Brew Over Hiring and Firing of Shore Rebuilding Contractor? (via NJSpotlight)

Rebuilding of the Jersey Shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has been touted as Gov. Chris Christie’s signature accomplishment in his first term. But the administration recently fired — with no public announcement other than a posting on a state…

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Posted: January 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Christie, Cronyism, RREM, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »