Spencer After Monday Sandy Recovery Hearing: ‘Many people are still far from being able to move back into their homes’

(TOMS RIVER) – Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee Chairwoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex) released the following statement on Monday after the final of four joint Assembly-Senate hearings on Sandy recovery efforts in the state. The committees received testimony from residents affected by Hurricane Sandy, advocates and environmental and engineering experts:

“After sending numerous invitations for an appearance, it’s unacceptable for Commissioner Constable and Mr. Ferzan to decide that attending these hearings and listening to the public’s testimony in person is, apparently, not worth their time.

“I thank each of the residents, advocates and experts who attended the joint hearings. There are clearly promises to be fulfilled, problems to fix and more work to be done for the families and communities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

“From our hearings held in Atlantic City, Jersey City, Trenton and, today, in Toms River, the message from the testimony we have received is clear: Sandy rebuilding is slow, almost at a standstill for many across the state.

“Residents are entangled in a vicious web of red tape from uncooperative insurance companies, federal agencies and the administration’s appointed agency in charge of Sandy rebuilding. Many people are still far from being able to move back into their homes nearly 365 days later.

“Our work begins with holding the agencies and companies whose purpose is to help families rebuild their homes and their lives accountable for the time lost in the last year.”