Rally in Trenton Thursday for Action on Sandy Recovery
A caravan of hundreds of Super storm Sandy victims from Ocean County will head to the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton Thursday to rally lawmakers and Governor Chris Christie to speed up recovery efforts.
The Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers Association (OBVTA) and Stop FEMA Now are organizing the event intended to deliver the message "Governor Christie, Keep Your Promises," according to members.
Paul Jeffrey, OBVTA President, announced chartered buses will pick up rally-goers from three staging points in Toms River: Third Avenue near the beach on the barrier island peninsula, "ground zero" of Sandy, on October 29, 2012, the Silverton First Aid Squad at 86 Maine Street, and the Staples/ShopRite parking lot at Routes 37 and 166.
Bus seats are free. Residents can reserve a spot by emailing MapPersi@aol.com or Kserra8452@gmail.com. Details are also contained on the Ortley Beach Voters and Taxpayers web page. Jeffrey also urged people to go to Trenton on their own. The rally will start at 8 a.m. in front of the Statehouse.
Jeffrey said anyone living near the Jersey Shore should be concerned that the Army Corps of Engineers Beach and Dune Replenishment project remains delayed more than two-and-a-half years after the storm, especially with hurricane season approaching in four months, adding the entire mainland remains at risk of flooding.
"Ortley Beach, Toms River and Seaside were essentially ground zero for Super storm Sandy, so we're really disappointed they really haven't focused on the place that suffered the most damage," said Jeffrey
Other issues of concern involve Sandy rebuilding issues and fixing the state's Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) program.
"The number of home that have actually been repaired and completed out of the RREM program is less than 500," Jeffrey said. He noted he personally refused his RREM grant program because he could not get clarify on what it would or wouldn't pay for.
"It's a quagmire of forms and things to complete, and no one who can really explain what you'll get paid for and what you won't," he said.
"We put the responsibility squarely in the state Administration," Jeffrey added. He also blasted Governor Christie for traveling outside of New Jersey instead of staying here and completing Sandy recovery as he promised.