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NJ Senate head: Christie’s done a ‘piss poor job’ on Sandy recovery

Thursday marks the three-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy making landfall in New Jersey — and so Gov. Chris Christie and top administration officials were scheduled to fan out across the state to talk about the ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts.

But At a press conference with still-displaced Sandy victims Wednesday, State Sen. President Steve Sweeney didn’t hold anything back in criticizing Christie’s post-Sandy work.

“This is not a third-world country. We should have our families back in their homes by now,” said Sweeney (D-Thorofare). “This is the United States of America. It’s New Jersey. It’s a very forward-thinking state that did a piss poor job. That’s all I can tell you.”

The governor’s office wasted little time in responding to a request seeking comment.

“It’s sad the Senate president is so consumed with political sniping that he can so easily wipe his feet on the hard work and community cooperation that has enabled New Jersey to progress substantially from the worst natural disaster in our state’s history,” said Christie spokesman Brian Murray. “While we have a long way to go, New Jerseyans should remain proud of what we continue to accomplish together regardless of the empty and self-serving rhetoric they hear from some thoughtless officials.”

A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed that just 39 percent of the hardest-hit residents said they were very (6 percent) or somewhat (33 percent) satisfied with New Jersey’s recovery effort while 61 percent said they were somewhat (27 percent) or very (34 percent) dissatisfied.

Christie is scheduled to mark the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy in Moonachie Thursday afternoon with two cabinet commissioners. Other events were slated to be held in Ocean, Cape May, Atlantic and Monmouth Counties throughout the day.

“Now is not a time to take a victory lap and say, “Here’s what we have accomplished.’ Now is the time to say, ‘What’s wrong? Let’s fix it (and) move on,’” Sweeney said.

Joe Mangino a founder member of the NJ Organizing Project said thousands of families are still not home for good. He said less than 25 percent of the families in the reconstruction, rehabilitation, elevation and/or other mitigation (RREM) program are home for good.

Nancy Wirtz is from Forked River, but now lives in an apartment in Bayville after spending a year with a friend. She hoped to be back in her house by now, but said she was a victim of contractor fraud.

“I lost my home in Hurricane Sandy. Me and my daughter Samantha are still, three years later without a home,” explained Wirtz.

Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at kevin.mcardle@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.

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