Hoboken Exclusive SandyGate Feature
Letter to Gov. Christie last spring reveals Mayor Zimmer "stunned" there will be "no Hazard Mitigation funding for Hoboken"
While some continue to question why Mayor Zimmer waited months before going public with her allegations Sandy aid was being linked to a potential billion dollar development, the claim the charges are merely she said, she said are not supported by key documents in the affair.
On May 8th, 2013 Mayor Zimmer wrote a letter directly to Governor Christie conveying the seriousness for the "severe flooding" and "we (the City) "urgently need the help of the State... for hazard mitigation grant funding for three additional pumps."
The letter goes on to detail the urgency saying the City needed the aid for the pumps "as soon as physically possible."
The mayor then writes, "Hazard mitigation is not just about the next Sandy," and later adds she was "stunned" to hear that (her quotation) "there will be no Hazard Mitigation funding for Hoboken."
Hoboken would then receive a tiny fraction of its total request in the low six figures, a key element in an ongoing dispute about how Sandy aid should have been distributed in the first round of funding.
A second round of funding is part of the reason the mayor says she withheld publicly criticizing Governor Christie. While the funds are designated federal block grants, it's the State holding the decision powers on where they are directed. Mayor Zimmer has stated she did not wish to completely jeopardize Hoboken in that upcoming application.
The mayor's letter concludes again requesting for Governor Christie's support and notes he's "always treated Hoboken fairly in the past."
But according to the mayor's statements, following this letter her conversations with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the head of Sandy aid and DCA all insisted she delineate what she would support for the proposed Rockefeller Group development.
Email from former NJ DCA head Lori Grifa shows the strong interest in moving the Rockefeller Group development forward on behalf of the Samson Group, a powerful politically connected law firm lobbying for the developer with a Hoboken attorney working on the matter.
Included in the exhibits below are the actual journal entries the mayor kept in her own handwriting.
Mayor's letter to Gov. Christie / supporting documentation
Talking Ed Note: The above documentation clearly supports Mayor Dawn Zimmer's version of events showing why she would be caught "between a rock and a hard place" as she put it.
While fighting for initial Sandy aid flood mitigation funds, a second round left the mayor in a "no go" quandary as she had to juggle several balls at once and fend off what she described as mounting, continued pressure to get behind a massive project she didn't see as appropriate.
The mayor stated in TV interviews, approving selected acres of development for the Rockefeller Group would immediately lead to lawsuits against the city by owners of the adjacent properties in the area.
Who do you think would be the first to complain about that?
The second round of flood mitigation funds has yet to be awarded. How Hoboken fares in the midst of the embroiling SandyGate scandal remains to be seen.