When last we visited Mayor Zimmer, the chief executive of Hoboken, New Jersey, she was claiming her city got “screwed” because she didn’t play along with Governor Christie’s bully tactics. Now we learn from the Associated Press, her city received the Hurricane Sandy Aid it was due.
From the very beginning Zimmer’s claims seemed suspect. The incident where she was supposedly threatened by Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno took place last summer. But she spent the rest of the summer and the ramp up to Election day tweeting what a great guy Christie is, and though she cannot endorse him (or anybody) she thinks he is a great governor. If somebody shook me down like that, I wouldn’t’ be tweeting out late what a great guy he is, and how I got a great partnership I have with him and how he is great for Jersey.
Hoboken has so far received two state grants from pools of state-controlled money, according to a review by The Associated Press.
The state awarded $25 million for energy projects to help deal with outages; Hoboken received $142,080 — the same amount as 39 other recipients.
The state also provided money to communities hit by the storm to hire experts and come up with long-term recovery plans; Hoboken’s $200,000 grant was the fourth-highest allocation among the 35 local governments in the program.
Melli said the city was told by state government officials last month not to bother applying for a third program offering grants and loans to revitalize business district because it was already oversubscribed.
To date, New Jersey has received $1.8 billion in emergency aid from the U.S. government to distribute as it sees fit but with federal approval and is in line to get an additional $1.4 billion in coming months. Most of the first chunk was earmarked for direct aid to homeowners, landlords and businesses to rebuild. Administration officials have said there may be more money for disaster prevention later.
From the first $1.8 billion, $290 million was to be used for flooding mitigation projects intended to reduce the impacts of future storms. But most of it went to programs to buy and knock down flood-prone properties and to elevate structures above expected flood levels.
Those are worthy programs, Melli said, but not ones useful in Hoboken.
Melli spoke to the AP on Wednesday. After being asked follow-up questions, he sent an email saying that officials in Zimmer’s office would not grant additional interviews.
So if Hoboken “got its due” what is Zimmer complaining about? Perhaps she is doing a bit of shaking down herself?