We have been trying to schedule meetings – for weeks – with the Head of Department of Community Affairs, to discuss the rampant Fraud with Contractors hampering the Sandy rebuilding effort. All to no avail.
Unfortunately we had to disrupt the Governor’s Press Conference to let him know of our displeasure (WATCH VIDEO)
Shortly after the meeting here is what transpired.
Before I got back to the mainland I received a few calls/emails from NJ State officials calling to set up a meeting with the Department of Community Affairs and any other meetings that we would like.
Here is why we had to express our displeasure at the Governors Press Conference.
I have personally asked for the Director of the Department of Community Affairs to come discuss John A. Ongrady Jr. case. He is a Senior, Vietnam Vet, Sandy Survivor who gave his contractor $95,000 over 3.5 years ago. He contacted the governors Office and the DCA and several other state and county offices and nothing has been done. MY QUESTION IS HOW MANY PEOPLE COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED FROM THIS CONTRACTOR IF THE DCA DID THEIR JOB, IN A TIMELY FASHION?
I am not the person who just flies off the handle for things. I actually do what everyone else does. I go through the proper channels. But if you ignore me for 6 months, I will “talk” to your boss (WATCH VIDEO)
READ MY STORY AND LET ME KNOW IF I AM JUSTIFIED FOR LETTING MY GOVERNOR KNOW IF HIS STAFF HAS IGNORED ME!
ALLEGEDLY my House lifting contractor who Allegedly Cracked my Granite, ripped out my sewer line, then didn’t pay their steel supplier (who put a lien on our property),was thrown off the job around March of 2016.
I initially put in an online complaint with the DCA in March sometime. (The dates might be off a few weeks, but you will get the jist).
I did not hear anything in April so I filed ANOTHER online complaint. Still nothing.
On or about July 18th there was a NJ Sandy Rebuilding thingy in Toms River. I went, signed up, waited my turn. I spoke to Sam Vivittane about some RREM issues and he then personally walked me over to Jared O’Cone <O’ConeJ@dca.lps.state.nj.us> .. Jared said he would take care of it in a few days. I followed up that day or the next with an email to him so he had my contact information. He responded in an email on July 25 that he will “reach out to me in a week”.
About a month or so later I called him. I am not gonna lie. I gave him a piece of his mind. I asked to speak to his boss and his bosses boss. All I got was a dismissive tone and attitude. I am not good with names, but the inpsector in charge of RREM fraud claims said “It’s only been a few months, we won’t even assign anyone to you for a year”. At that point I blew a gasket.
About 2 weeks ago I called Glen Feldman (Our Senator and Assemblyman’s chief of staff) and gave him a piece of my mind. He took it like a champ. I got several calls from “concerned DCA folks after Glen contacted them. Initially it was Ocone, you know the guy who was gonna call me back in “a week” back in July. I dismissed him and asked for his boss, then his boss, and then his boss. (there are a lot of bosses there!). Bottom line at this point I said I wanted to have a meeting with the head of the DCA come down and “discuss” what he has been doing about fraudulent contractors, with our group.
About 10 days ago the Deputy Director called me. I am not gonna lie. I was rather curt with him. I told him I want his boss to meet with our group.
For the last 10 days…..NOTHING. (I did send out an email to a bunch of media, Glen, Ocone and Elected officials that have helped in the past and who are not in our district. I do want to thank the young lady from Sen. Beck’s office (even though she is not in my district she has been a LEADER in fighting for us SANDSTERS)
So I get several texts that the Governor was going to be Seaside yesterday.
My question to you………
WAS I JUSTIFIED IN SCREAMING AT OUR GOVERNOR?
Dear Governor Christie;
In about January/February of 2013 when you sent Tim Cunningham and Amy Cradic to meet with StopFemaNow. They were both very nice the first time we met. But they did nothing for us. As a matter of fact they were either dismissive or non-communicative, Like the DCA currently is.. Let them know that when people scream, there is usually a valid reason for it. If they were responsive, we would never had the pleasure to meet and many many issues would have been resolved before they bubbled up and blew up, like yesterday.
If our Governor can listen and act on Constructive Criticism…. Why can’t the folks at the DCA do the same?
We appreciate you bringing up the FEMA Flood Insurance Fraud Issue. We do have issues that we can work on together on.
I will also say that even though the RREM program still has issues, Sam Vivittane is very responsive and the RREM program is getting better. It runs much better than NY’s “Build it Back Program”.
I am writing this in the hope that you take my remarks constructively.
All we want to do is get home. The key is in your hands.