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The Department of Community Affairs would seem to be the weak link in Christie's Jam.

The DCA is the entity responsible for actually disbursing federal dollars related to Hurricane Sandy, not the Secretary of State, Kim Guadagno. That's why Richard E. Constable, III was invited to the Public TV Forum along with Dawn Zimmer, the Mayor of Hoboken, a hard hit city in Hudson County.

I suggest Constable is the weak link because the alibi offered by the Christie camp, that he was not heard to have a one-on-one conversation with Mayor Zimmer didn't hold up.


Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, who also was a panelist, said he didn’t hear a conversation between Zimmer and Constable.

    “I sat next to Mayor Zimmer and, if I recall correctly, (Constable) was on my other side,” Doherty said.

Doherty recalled incorrectly. Constable was sitting on Zimmer's other side.

The other reason Constable is a weak link is because he's obviously over-extended. According to his Wikipedia entry:

Constable is also an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School in New York and Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey.[Ref 10] In addition to overseeing the Department of Community Affairs, Commissioner Constable serves as Chair of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. He also serves on the State Ethics Commission.
There aren't enough hours in the day to carry out all these functions well. That they are not carried out well can be deduced from a complaint lodged by the Fair Share Housing Center in a letter to Commissioner Constable, dated November 20, 2013. After citing a large number of defficiencies, as well as the lack of transparency, the Center concludes with the following questions to which, presumably, a lot of people would like answers
1)Why in the Resettlement program does the distribution of funds not match the distribution of damage in the nine impacted counties, in particular lower shares in heavily African-American and Latino counties in North Jersey?
2)Why in the RREM program does the distribution of funds not match the distribution
of damage in the nine impacted counties, in particular lower shares in heavily
African-American and Latino counties in North Jersey?
3)Why were over 5,000 LMI applicants to the Resettlement program not funded
despite the State not even coming close to meeting its LMI percentage of 60%?
4)Did the State ever directly contact LMI impacted households that were eligible for,
but did not apply for, Resettlement, and if so how and in what languages?
5)Will the State ensure for any future Resettlement funding requested in this
Amendment that no such funding is distributed to non-LMI households until the 60% funding is met?
6)Why do African-American and Latino households have a higher rejection rate in the Resettlement program?
7)Why are there significant disparities in the approval rates by geography in the RREM program, even for adjoining zip codes?
8)Are there geographic disparities in the process for securing floodplain letters? If yes, how has the State ensured that the process will remain fair despite such disparities?
9)Why did the State delete eligibility of manufactured homes from the FAQs for both
10)If applicants that were initially determined to be ineligible are later found eligible
through submission of additional information or appeals, will they be treated for
prioritization purposes as they would have based on the original date of application?
While the letter is in the portable document format (pdf) and ipso facto difficult to copy and paste, reference to a few numbers might help demonstrate where the problem lies.
As the letter from Fairshare Housing asserts:
According to the response to our OPRA Request, the State did not produce a comprehensive manual of policies and procedures for the RREM Program until October
22–several months after the first round of funds had been awarded. As part of that
belated set of policies, the State included “Appendix C: RREM Selection Process,” which
described “a detailed process that ensures fairness and a clear ordering of evaluation and
The very concept of describing such a process after the fact, without any transparency to applicants that this process was being used, raises serious due process concerns.
Indeed, but as we already know from close attention, our instinct-driven Con friends have a poor concept of time. Providing information after the fact is par for the course. Also that these proclivities pop up wherever they please. Which should alert us that people whose sense of time (including time management) is deficient are probably poor candidates for public service.
That the traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge was engineered is not inconsistent. After all, they had lots of help as the LA Times details. Christie's Jam will not impress Californians.

Originally posted to hannah on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 07:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and Christie Investigations.

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