In what looks like the latest chapter of the political back-door dealing of the Chris Christie administration, NBC New York broke the story late last night that 4.8 million of money earmarked for Sandy disaster relief went instead, as ordered by Governor Christie, to build luxury high-rise apartments in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The building, called “Somerset Mews”, has already received a tax abatement and a green light from the city’s planning board before Sandy struck, so the connection to Sandy was not at first readily apparent. But then Dawn Zimmer stepped up to the microphone after we all learned of Bridge-ghazi.
New Brunswick is 188th on the list of ‘got most pwned by Sandy’, so what exactly was it about New Brunswick that made the town worthy of that kind of money for just one building? The company heading the project, Boraie Development LLC, has ties to Christie, and so do the members of the Boraie family. They have been “most generous” to the Christie campaigns for several decades. Ah, the smell of cronyism with coffee.
Compare this to the burgh of Hoboken, where beleaguered Mayor Dawn Zimmer was told that Sandy relief money would be withheld until she agreed to give the green light to a luxury high-rise project favored by the Governor and his staff. She had requested $127 million for the town that was 80% underwater. Because she did not approve the project, what she got was $142,000 to defray the cost of a single back-up generator plus an additional $200,000 in recovery grants.
And no kiss.