Freeholder Wants More Help for County -- Now

Freeholder Joseph Vicari wants FEMA, banks, federal government to help get tourism back on its feet long before summer arrives

Freeholder Joseph Vicari was watching C-SPAN, listening to New Jersey Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez talking about the need for billions in federal funding to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

There was one thing that bothered him about it, however: all of the damage they discussed was in North Jersey.

"The senators made it very clear about North Jersey, but I didn’t hear anyone mention the Jersey Shore," Vicari said. "They have to be more aggressive about getting the money for us, too."

It's not just financial assistance Vicari wants to see for Ocean County, especially the small businesses that have been severely impacted by the storm. He wants to see FEMA do more to remove debris that will impact tourism, and he wants to see it done quickly, he told his fellow freeholders during Wednesday's preboard meeting of the Ocean County Board of Freeholders.

"I'm not saying other things don't have to be done," Vicari said. "They do. But Ocean County needs its fair share. We have to be on a priority list to get back on our feet."

Debris -- sunken boats, sunken cars and trucks, pieces of destroyed homes and more -- have made it risky to boat in Barnegat Bay and in some areas along the oceanfront. Vicari wants to see that addressed soon.

"Picking up the debris has to be done in the next 60 days," he said. And it's a task that is beyond the county's capabilities, so the state and the federal government need to step in to take care of it, he said.

"FEMA and the Army Corps (of Engineers) have the experience and ability" to clean up the waterways, he said.

In addition, the banking industry has to be pressured to do more to help small businesses by providing the loans they need to get back to business.

"We gave China $100 million in stimulus," Vicari said. "It's reasonable to say FEMA should be doing more (for Ocean County)."

"We need federal dollars immediately," he said. "We need the federal government to say 'Get it done' the way the Army Corps gets it done," because the tourism industry in the county is at risk.

"Lautenberg and Menendez were talking about billions. We’re not talking about that, we’re talking a reasonable amount of money to get them back," Vicari said.

shorecorruption December 14, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Nick Carraway December 14, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I cannot believe that people from Ocean County are criticizing one of the Freeholders for requesting aid for Ocean County. We need our politicians, from the local level, to start making some noise if we are to have any hope of getting help from places outside of our local towns and our County. How many of you thought that, if a big disaster ever hit, then FEMA and the Red Cross would be there to help you out? Well, have they been there for you, because, for many, they have not. It has been our local churches and organizations and volunteers that have been helping everyone, and while all of these larger groups keep soliciting the nation for money for us, but the money isn't coming, is it? I think it's fair to say that everyone was overwhelmed by the amount of destruction that Sandy caused...the worst storm in the history of NJ. As for not hearing anything from these politicians, for many, the power was out for a long time, and for some, the power is still out, so how it is that you expected these people to communicate with the public? Stop throwing grenades if you're from Ocean County and start throwing support. It's like the story Horton Hears a Who..we need every voice to shout out if we expect to be heard by our State and Federal government.
Fedup December 14, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Joe Vicari will not get you any help. He forgot about this statement the second after he uttered it. Nothing but lip service.
tuna stick December 14, 2012 at 02:41 PM
First off, the "gist" of the article was how the US Senators were not fighting for $ in the name of Ocean County, as per freeholder Vicari. Secondly, if Vicari wants more $ for Ocean County isn't it HIS JOB to fight for them? Why isn't the long-tenured, and fat-pensioned freeholder down in DC at their offices asking for more help? No, instead he gets on his soapbox and says "I'm fighting for you." Really? Just how is that sir? This is typical of the Ocean County ruling party. Say nothing, and say it beautifully. What a crock!
Scott Neuman December 15, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Not a single mention of our representatives in Congress. Second third and fourth District all GOP. Chris Smith why aren't you talking about this daily?


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