The weather reports say it will be too warm to snow on Thrusday and Governor Chris Christie is hoping the third time is the charm.
The twice postponed Town Hall Meeting on Sandy Relief Funds is now scheduled for Thursday, February 20th, 11am, at VFW Post 2179, 1 Veterans Way (Off Rt 36) in the Port Monmouth section of Middletown Township. Doors open at 10:00 am. Seating is first come first served. RSVP’s are requested via email at TownHall.Middletown@gov.state.nj.us.
Joining Christie will be Office of Recovery and Rebuilding Executive Director Marc Ferzan, Community Affairs Deputy Commissioner Chuck Richman, Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez, Economic Development Authority CEO Michele Brown and Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski.
A mobile cabinet meeting to assist Sandy impacted homeowners and businesses is scheduled to follow the Town Hall from 12:30 till 2:00 pm.
Posted: February 18th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: Bob Martin, Chris Christie, Christie Town Hall Meeting, Chuck Richman, Jennifer Velez, Ken Kobylowski, Mark Feran, Michele Brown, Middletown, Port Monmouth, Superstorm Sandy, Town Hall, Town Hall Meeting, VFW Post 2179 | 3 Comments »
Christie Should Come Clean About RREM Snafus At Town Hall Meeting
The Christie Administration has terminated a contract with a second company it hired to assist survivors of Superstorm Sandy rebuild their homes, according to a report on WNYC.
Governor Christie announcing a second round of RREM assistance, and that fact that federal assistance to rebuild from Sandy will be $17 billion or more short, in Keansburg last week.
Photo by Paul Scharff
URS, a global San Francisco based engineering and construction management firm had a $20 million contract to supervise the rebuilding of New Jersey homes under the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program. The contract has been terminated. Homeowners are being informed by state officials that one of two remaining contractors will now supervise the rebuilding of their homes.
RREM provides $150,000 Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to New Jersey residents as “last resort” rebuilding assistance. The federal money is supposed to assist residents who have insufficient funds after insurance, other government assistance and private monies are exhausted. URS was one of three companies hired to supervise home rebuilding, according to the WNYC report. Residents who were working with URS have been assigned to one of the two other contractors. The amount of fees committed to the remaining two contractors has not been reported.
While the Christie Administration has received high marks for its administration of assistance to municipal governments and businesses impacted by Sandy, there is growing criticism and frustration over the repeated delays in getting assistance to homeowners.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 14th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: CDBG, Chris Christie, Community Development Block Grant, Department of Community Affairs, Superstorm Sandy | Tags: CDBG, Chris Christie, Community Development Block Grant, HUD, Richard Constable, RREM, RREM grants, Town Hall Meeting | 3 Comments »
DCA’s Sandy Relief Public Hearing Not Cancelled, “But Likely Will Be.”
Governor Chris Christie announced via twitter (h/t PolitickerNJ) that the Town Hall Meeting scheduled for tomorrow at the VFW in Port Monmouth has been postponed until Tuesday, February 18, 11 am, due to the anticipated snowstorm. The mobile cabinet meeting as also been rescheduled to follow the Town Hall.
A spokesperson for the Department of Community Affairs said that the public hearing on the second round of Sandy Relief funding scheduled for tomorrow at Brookdale Community College from 4 pm – 7:30 pm has not been rescheduled at this time, but that it is highly likely it will be. Registered participants in the hearing will get an email from DCA if they hearing is postponed.
Posted: February 12th, 2014 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, Christie Administration | Tags: Chris Christie, DCA, postponed, Sandy Relief Funding, Snowstorm, Town Hall Meeting | No Comments »
Jeffery Goldberg’s account in The Atlantic of the Springsteen concert he attended with Governor Chris Christie and his entourage at The Rock is a must read for friends and foe of Christie. Mitt Romney’s vetters and the DGA will be reading it. You might as well.
Hat tip to our friends at InTheLobby.
Christie is having a Town Hall meeting in Brick on Tuesday the 26th, four days before the State’s budget is due or the government shuts down, except for the State Police and the Casino Control Commission.
Bruce is invited but probably won’t show. You are invited too!
The meeting is at the Lake Riveria Middle School, 171 Beaverson Road, Brick. It starts and 3PM. Doors open at 2:15. RSVP here is you are going.
Posted: June 21st, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie | Tags: Brick, Brick Town Hall, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Christie, Democratic Governors Association, DGA, InTheLobby, Jeffery Goldberg, Mitt Romney, State Budget, The Atlantic, Town Hall Meeting | 3 Comments »
Governor Chris Christie will hold a Town Hall meeting on Ocean Township next Tuesday, March 6, at 3PM. Doors open at 2PM.
The meeting will be held at the Ocean Township Community Gym, 1100 West Park Ave. Click here to get directions.
Seating is on a first come, first served basis and open to the public. The Governor’s office asks that those planning on attending RSVP by clicking here.
Posted: March 1st, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie | Tags: Governor Chris Christie, Ocean Township, Ocean Township Community Gym, Town Hall Meeting | No Comments »
By Art Gallagher
InTheLobby and Capitol Quickies report that Governor Chris Chrisite told a statehouse rally of pro-life demonstrators, “I stand with you,” adding that he stands “with each and every one of those precious human lives.”
Our old Monmouth County friend Bob Jordan, now a statehouse reporter and blogger, quoted Christie on Capitol Quickies as follows:
“What we need to do each and every day is to live our lives in a way that encourages everyone to understand why this cause is so important,” Christie told those gathered. ”To show that we respect the life of every human being, and that every human being is one of God’s creatures and deserves the love and respect that God gives to all us.”
I was immediately reminded of the last time a governor stood on the statehouse steps and said “I stand with you.” That was back on June 19, 2006, five months into Jon Corzine’s term as governor. It was 11 days before Corzine and the Democratic legislature shut down the government.
That day, Corzine joined a rally of 10,000 public employees and declared, “I’ll stand with you for your pension rights …”
Maybe Trenton really has been turned upside down.
Governor Christie had quite a day today. In addition to his unequivocal remarks at the pro-life rally, the governor conditionally vetoed COAH legislation that failed to reform how affordable housing is provided in New Jersey and increases the unnecessary burden on the State’s municipalities.
In a statement announcing the veto, Christie said:
“If the goal of this legislation is to replace an already broken system for providing affordable housing with a common sense, predictable and achievable process, then this bill sorely misses the mark,” said Governor Christie. “The Senate has presented a considerably different version of the legislation I originally supported in June – one that was simple and sufficiently close to the recommendations contained in the March 19, 2010, report of the Housing Opportunity Task Force. This version perpetuates the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) nightmare by placing further burdens on municipalities and the environment while creating rather than eliminating additional bureaucracies in order to satisfy the needs of special interests. I believe this bill should be amended to return it to its original, beneficial form as passed by the Senate in June.”
The original version of S-1 passed by the Senate in June 2010 called for:
- eliminating COAH and the arbitrary affordable housing numbers it assigned to municipalities
- requiring that 1 out of every 10 newly constructed housing units be designated as affordable (towns with no growth would have no further affordable housing obligation other than to inventory and rehabilitate its existing affordable housing stock)
- limiting State review of municipal housing plans
- protection against builder’s remedy lawsuits for municipalities
- elimination of commercial development fees, though residential development fees were permitted to be charged if a developer chose not to build affordable units on-site and decided to pay the residential development fee instead
In its current, unacceptable form, S-1:
- requires 10% of all the housing units in every municipality in the State to be affordable
- necessitates that 25% of the affordable housing obligation be met by inclusionary development, legislating sprawl by increasing the amount of mandated new housing by 500% to 700%.
- creates a new regulated entity to review a municipality’s housing plans
- causes towns to have to pay for two planners – one to draft the plan, and the other to certify it meets the requirements of the bill
- provides no meaningful protection against builder’s remedy lawsuits
- requires towns in the Highlands, Pinelands, Fort Monmouth and Meadowlands districts to have 15%to 20% of all new construction as affordable
As if that were not a full day’s work, Christie held a Town Hall Meeting in the Camden County borough of Chesilhurst this afternoon where in touted his pension and public employee health benefit reform package.
The highlights of the Governor’s “fiscal sanity” package are as follows:
Christie Reform Agenda for Public Employee Pensions – At a Glance
The current pension system is underfunded by $54 billion and, unless reforms are enacted, that number will grow to $183 billion by 2041, even if the taxpayers make all statutorily required pension fund contributions.
· Governor Christie’s reforms will reduce total pension underfunding from $183 billion in 2041 without reform to $23 billion in 2041, and
· Increase the aggregate funded ratio from the present level of 66% to more than 90% in 30 years.
A PDF of Governor Christie’s Reform Agenda proposal for pensions is attached to this release.
Christie Reform Agenda for Public Employee Health Benefits – At a Glance
Today, New Jersey’s unfunded liability, or future costs expected in the health benefits system, is $66.8 billion. New Jersey spends $4.3 billion annually on public employee and retiree health care costs, and the problem is only getting worse.
The cost for operating the health care benefits program for public employees and retirees is slowly sapping New Jersey’s budget to the point where it is becoming impossible for state and local government to fund critical priorities and bring rising deficits into line.
· Without immediate action, costs will increase by more than 40 percent over the next four years. By contrast, the average cost to an active public employee will increase by less than 10 percent over the same period.
· The cost of health benefits, as a percent of New Jersey’s annual budget, has grown from 4.5 percent in 2001 to more than 9 percent today.
Governor Christie’s reforms will restore fairness to the system by:
· Transitioning the cost-sharing in the system to a more realistic model,
· Offering more options for employees to choose from, and
· Switching to a system requiring employees to pay a percentage of their premium rather than a percentage of their salary.
Personally, I don’t think the pension reforms go far enough, but that will be the subject of a future post. For this post, I just appreciate how far we’ve come in one year under Christie’s leadership.
Governor Christie will be holding a Town Hall meeting in Middletown on Wednesday morning, 11 AM, at the VFW on Route 36. The doors open at 10:30. Seating is first come, first seated.
Posted: January 24th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Abortion, Chris Christie, Middletown, Veterans | Tags: Chris Christie, COAH, Jon Corzine, Middletown, Pensions and Health Care, Pro-Life, Town Hall Meeting | No Comments »
By Art Gallagher
Governor Chris Christie will hold a Town Hall meeting in Middletown on Wednesday, January 26 at 11am, according to Mayor Tony Fiore.
The meeting will be held at VFW Post #2179 on Route 36 in the Port Monmouth section of the township. The doors will open at 10:30 am.
Posted: January 19th, 2011 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Chris Christie, Middletown | Tags: Chris Christie, Middletown, Town Hall Meeting | 3 Comments »