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.

mjmjr December 13, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Truth Syrup December 13, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Great point mjmjr, Vicari was overheard on election day that he was upset he lost all his "food" in his refrigerator when the power was out. Complete self serving individual. Entire County government needs to go. Where was the sheriffs dept during the strom?? The County EOC was non existent, just ask any first responder
Opinionated December 13, 2012 at 07:54 PM
You two must not be from around here. It seems the gist of this story is how our two US Senators seem only to be concerned with North Jersey. Yet you complain about our county people and not the senators. Perhaps you two, Lautenberg, and Menendez don't care about Ocean County because they didn't vote your way last month.
mjmjr December 13, 2012 at 08:00 PM
ShoreGuy722 December 13, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Information for all of you, ! 1, The Sheriffs Officers were working around the clock as were all other departments, 2, As a shore resident they all deserve a Hell of alot of Praise for the job they did !!! Our neighborhoods were all protected while they stood guard to prpotect looting, I myself and alot of our neighbors would bring them hot drinks and food and they were all very thankful ! At this time of the year under these circumstances We should all stop pointing fingers and just be thankful , PERIOD !!!!
Mac December 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Perhaps if Freeholder Vicari and his boys want to impress our U.S. Senators that they are serious about Ocean County being short on funds to deal with the Hurricane Sandy relief, they could volunteer to contribute either their current Freeholder salaries or their current monthly Freeholder retirement checks to the relief fund. Since they are being paid twice for the same job, perhaps they could come back down to earth for a while and donate their fair share to this worthy cause. What’s that freight train sound you hear? No, it’s not a tornado. It’s the Freeholders getting their money rapidly out of town.
Larry Cataldo December 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Peachy December 14, 2012 at 02:44 AM
The County EOC was most certainly open during the storm!! Being First Responder I was in the Communications Room constantly getting updates and requesting help from them. You have to remember, these people were impacted just as the rest of us. And yet, they manned that EOC 24 hours a day. I don't know what first responders you were talking to, but this first responder had no qualms with the County EOC!
amy December 14, 2012 at 03:07 AM
During storms never heard a word from Mayor or Freeholders or any "politian" in Ocean County..just Berkeley township mayor..so sad..if they were involved..only politians in kind know..but residents never heard a peep from them..just taxes going up due to storms..and utilities going up due to storms.:where is all donations going..not to residents..not.to insurance co..not to townships effected by storms..where is billions going..where is mayor..toms river...hmmm just saying....churches..doing most to help..shame..shame shame
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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