ORTLEY BEACH, NJ – In October of 2012, Ortley Beach was essentially wiped off the map of the Jersey Shore by Superstorm Sandy. It was officially declared “Ground Zero” of the storm’s land fall in the state.
Three years later, as an Assemblyman representing Somerset County, Jack Ciattarelli who is running for Governor of New Jersey in tomorrow’s primary election voted to defund the Jersey Shore. When the Jersey Shore needed him most, Ciattarelli voted no on two key recovery bills that would later pass without him that focused on “restoring the Shore”.
In the New Jersey Assembly in 2015, the bi-partisan state legislature introduced and passed a bill to provide much-needed financial relief and protections to towns hit extremely hard by the storm. It passed, but not without dissent from certain charlatans who felt the Jersey Shore didn’t need any additional help in the rebuilding process. In 2016, the assembly passed the Disaster Victims Protection Act.
This week, Toms River Councilwoman Maria Maruca who represents Ortley Beach announced she is formally endorsing Jack Ciattarelli for Governor despite his voting record to defund Superstorm Sandy victims in that community. Her opponent, Lavallette Police Sergeant Justin Lamb said Maria’s past track record on post-Sandy recovery is also nothing to brag about. Lamb noted that Maruca allowed $51 million in funding allocated for post Sandy recovery to be used to build large apartment complexes in North Dover.
“Maria Maruca allocated $51 million in Sandy relief money to build 567 apartments in North Dover so I’m not at all surprised that she voted for somebody who wanted to defund Sandy relief,” Lamb said. “On top of that, she’s jacked up taxes in Toms River from $30 million per year to $90 million since elected in 2004. I don’t support jacking up our taxes.”
It doesn’t end there though. After Superstorm Sandy, many people were forced from their homes. Many rented or bought second homes to stay in New Jersey, eventually leading to a foreclosure and eviction crisis. Once again the legislature in Trenton stepped in to help the people of the Jersey Shore. Once again, Jack Ciattarelli said no to the Jersey Shore.
Assembly Bill a4139, passed in 2015 gave Jersey Shore residents affected by Superstorm Sandy a three-year break on evictions and foreclosures as they rebuilt their lives. The bill passed by a commanding 56-14 majority but Ciattarelli played partisan politics voting against the bill proposed by Democrats. For politics, he decided residents of the Jersey Shore should suffer. He was one of 14 people who denied the much-needed protection to residents made homeless by a devastating tidal surge never before seen in New Jersey that washed out the barrier island and backwater towns along the Barnegat Bay.