Shore Officials Interpret what the Governor’s State of the State Address
State and local public officials that represent the Jersey Shore are expressing appreciation to the Governor for prioritizing Superstorm Sandy recovery during his State of the State Address in Trenton Tuesday. .
10th District State Senator Jim Holzapel says the Governor's decision to place issues unrelated to Superstorm Sandy on the back burner as the right decision. He says "I would hope that the Legislators in the rest of the state will be supportive in getting the shore area back on its feet and I think that's gotta be project number one for the Governor and should remain so until he can stand up there and say that he's completed the job."
30th District State Senator Bob Singer says Christie's decision not to dwell on criticism from the Democrats was the right one. He says Christie communicated what an overwhelming number of Garden State residents are really feeling. "The people of the state of New Jersey, the People of this country, are tired of politics as usual. 'Stop the bickering, talk about what is good for the state of New Jersey, what's going to help the economy of this state and certainly what's going to help the victims of Sandy."
New Jersey Business & Industry Association President Phil Kirschner says the Governor is right to call out whomever he has to in Washington to get the state the federal disaster aid it deserves and he says time is of the essence. "What we fear is a lot of these businesses are just hanging on now with all the debt they have to take on to rebuild. If they miss an entire season ... they won't be around for the season after next."
Kirschner says the Christie Administration has made strides in attracting businesses unrelated to the shore tourism industry but he says any storm recovery effort must include assistance to New Jersey's shore hospitality industry. "You can't have a full recovery in New Jersey until you get the hospitality and tourism industry back. It's our number 1 industry. If that's functioning at 50 percent the state is not realizing its full economic potential."
Kirschner is confidence that we'll see a large part of the Jersey shore's tourism industry ready for business by the summer and he believes what will be available will be enough to draw people.
Mayor Tom Keleher says it was gratifying to hear the Governor say he's aware of the problems with the Barnegat Bay. "They're talking about maybe dredging the bay. He didn't specifically say that but he's very conscious of the problems with the bay and that is of great importance to us, not only to our own residents but the bay is such and intregral part of the county and our community and our tourism, that it's just absolutely critical that the bay be fixed and repaired."