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Maybe the guy should have planned for the press release last Friday Thursday, eh?

Christie Hurricane Sandy 'storm czar' Marc Ferzan to resign

by Matt Friedman, The Star-Ledger -- July 08, 2014

Marc Ferzan, who has headed the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding since it was created in late 2012, is moving to Virginia to "support a career opportunity for his wife," according to a press release obtained by The Star-Ledger that the governor’s office plans to distribute today.

But as Ferzan kept a low public profile, Christie faced criticism for the state’s slowness in distributing federal aid, as well as using funds for affordable housing projects in areas that were spared the worst of Sandy's wrath and hiring companies that bungled aid distribution. Legislative Democrats also criticized Ferzan for skipping four joint hearings of the Senate and Assembly environment committees that dealt with Sandy recovery.

Christie blamed the slow pace of aid on federal government bureaucracy, and frequently highlighted a January quote from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan's in which he said Sandy recovery dollars were "moving faster than in any prior major disaster."

Some "federal bureaucracy": -- May 30, 2014

Grantee            Third Round CDBG-DR      Total Funding To Date

New Jersey         $501,909,000                     $4,174,429,000

"HUD has worked very closely with officials in the region impacted by Hurricane Sandy to ensure that this funding meets all of their critical housing needs," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan who chaired President Obama's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. "We will continue working with the grantees to ensure they have the resources they need to help families get back into their homes and to rebuild the region smarter, stronger, and better prepared for future storms."

In this third Sandy allocation, grantees will be required to identify unmet needs for housing, economic development and infrastructure. Grantees will be required to incorporate a risk assessment in their planning efforts to ensure long term resilience.

It's simply uncountable, untrackable, for mere Christie-appointee mortals ... all that EZ-Fed {recovery} cash.

Of course, it's not likely that the New Jersey Legislators would have let the 'Storm Czar' resignation go unnoticed -- they've been trying to get the Sandy Money Czar's testimony for quite some time now ... (4 times invited, 4 times a No-show).

NJ Lawmakers Still Learning About Sandy Recovery

by Kevin McArdle,  -- Sept 20, 2013

Other legislators are concerned that there’s still a lot of frustration as homeowners battle their way through a maze of paperwork when it comes to insurance and federal aid. They say every day that displaced Jerseyans are pushing paper and being stonewalled is another day they’re not back in their homes.

“That part is extremely concerning, where people are still out of their homes and I think someone being out of their home for a year now is a little unfathomable,” says Assemblyman Ruben Ramos. “The fact that they don’t know how much money they have to repair their homes is more concerning than the fact that they’re out of their homes.”

Committee Meeting of


"Testimony on the progress of Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts"

LOCATION: Atlantic City Convention Center -- Atlantic City, New Jersey

DATE: August 15, 2013

SENATOR BOB SMITH (Chair): Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the two most interesting committees in the Legislature [...]

That being said, we’re thrilled to be in Atlantic City today, taking testimony on the status of relief efforts 10 months after Storm Sandy. And we’ve asked people to come today to tell us what they understand to be happening in their world; what’s been done right, what’s been done wrong. And hopefully if there are needs for mid-course corrections, we can either do legislation or try to get input into the Administration about this, which has pretty much been the overseer of Storm Sandy relief efforts.

We invited Marc Ferzan, the Governor’s Sandy czar, to be here today. He has not indicated a willingness to come. So we’re going to hear from a whole bunch of other people. [...]

[Seaching for the term "paperwork" makes for some interesting Hearing Notes reading.]

Committee Meeting of


"Testimony on the progress of Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts"

LOCATION: Toms River Town Hall -- Toms River, New Jersey

DATE: October 21, 2013

SENATOR SMITH: One other announcement before we have our first witness -- and the witnesses are in no particular order -- one other announcement. This is the third out of the four meetings where we’ve invited representatives of the Executive Branch to be present: Marc Ferzan, who is the named Sandy Czar who is supposed to be coordinating all of these efforts; and the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, Mr. Richard Constable. And this is the third time that we’ve been refused their presence.

SENATOR SMITH: That all being said, we also asked the Sandy Czar appointed by the Governor, Mr. Ferzan, to be here three times.

MR. FINN: Use your subpoena then; use the State.

SENATOR SMITH: We’re going to have to get it. We don’t have it.

MR. FINN: Just some quick numbers here: There was -- and if I’m wrong, please let me know -- $600 million allocated for the RREM program, 3,200 people. That’s anywhere between $450 million and $480 million. Where is the rest of the money? Where is the other $130 million or $150 million? Where is that? I would like some accountability.

SENATOR SMITH: They won’t even-- We’ve asked. We put it in writing. They won’t even tell us how much they’ve awarded.

[Searching for the term "funds" makes for some interesting Hearing Notes reading.]

New Jersey -- SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY Committee -- Public Web Site

Nevermind that they had to fire one accounting firm (HGI) in mid-recovery stream.

Nevermind that some less-storm-ravished areas were getting more recovery funds, than the more-ravished areas.

Nevermind that "recovery" is often in the eye of the beholder (and in the checkbook of the grantors, too).

It's all water under some NJ Bridge somewhere, NOW.

150 million dollars worth and counting (according to that last October Hearing), all without an Auditing care in the world. Now that the Sandy 'Storm Czar' is moving on for 'greener pastures'.

Marc Ferzan, unlike Chris Christie, seems to know when it's time to Get out of Dodge -- stage left!

See ya! Sandy Victims. Good luck with those latest recovery funds.  Better have your 'paperwork' in order. In triplicate. Strike while the next transition-chaos is hot.

Fast-trackers, use the door round back ... See ya!

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by Christie Watch.

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