(TRENTON) — Assembly Deputy Speaker and Transportation Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee Chair John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) issued a multimedia package Thursday in which he discusses his committee’s review of New Jersey’s transportation agencies’ preparation and response to Superstorm Sandy.
Wisniewski expressed particular frustration at the last minute cancelation of state Department of Transportation (DOT), Commissioner James S. Simpson, calling it a missed opportunity.
The multimedia package consists of a video of Wisniewski discussing Simpson’s conspicuous absence and what committee members learned from the hearing and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of Wisniewski’s comments are appended below:
Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee Chair:
“I’m greatly disappointed in [Department of Transportation] Commissioner [James S.] Simpson. He told me he’d be here, and this morning, without a word, without a call, without a fax or an email, Commissioner Simpson decided to disrespect the members of this committee and disrespect the Legislature by not showing.
“This was an opportunity for Commissioner Simpson to come and explain what happened with our transportation infrastructure and the commissioner lost that opportunity.
“What we have learned today is that, as a state, we have spent the last decade preparing for disaster, but we’ve been looking at it in terms of terrorism; we’ve been looking at it in terms of public safety. What we didn’t really focus on is natural disasters – a hurricane can be just as devastating. And what we’ve learned is that we need to do a better job at protecting our rail infrastructure, our road infrastructure and this is a learning opportunity for us as a state.”