This morning in Union Beach, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno strongly denied Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s allegations that Sandy relief funds for the city were contingent upon the approval of a proposed Rockefeller Group development. Zimmer made her allegations Saturday morning on MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki.
Speaking at the Union Beach Firehouse on Poole Ave, at an event commemorating Martin Luther King Jr Day, Guadagno prefaced her remarks by saying she would not be taking questions at the end of her statement. “As you know, there are ongoing investigations. I’m sure all the fact will come out at the appropriate time.”
“Mayor Zimmer’s version of our conversation in May or 2013 is not only false, but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined. Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false.
Standing in Union Beach, as we are today, with some of the mayors whose towns were devastated by Sandy, and also, being a Sandy victim myself, makes the mayor’s allegations particularly offensive to me.
The suggestion that anyone would hold back Sandy relief funds for any reason is wholly and completely false.
I thought I had a good relationship with the mayor of Hoboken. In fact, just three months after this conversation she said we had occurred, I was walking on the streets with her, in Hoboken, talking to her about urban markets; just three months after this conversation she said we had, and five months before she went to MSNBC. Like I said, I thought we had a good relationship.
Frankly I’m surprised that Mayor Zimmer has chosen to mischaracterize a conversation I had with her about development and job creation in Hoboken. I have devoted an extraordinary amount of time to projects, to bringing projects, to creating jobs and retaining jobs in Hoboken. That is my job as the Secretary of State and the Lt. Governor. I have visited Hoboken no less than thirteen times. I have worked on many more projects involving Hoboken as part of that job.
The one example that stand outs, the one that the mayor herself asked me to work on for her, is the Pearson Education Building. In the skyline, in the waterfront, on the waterfront of Hoboken. The mayor once told me there was an empty hole, and she asked me to find a company to fill it. Right now, Pearson Education is in the waterfront, on the waterfront. They’ve created hundreds of jobs, they created hundreds of construction jobs. So yes, I am very surprised, by the mayor’s allegations, and I deny, wholeheartedly, those allegations.
I proudly support, and will continue to support, the creation of jobs in Hoboken and all of New Jersey, and I will continue to work on those projects.
But I am going to end, and I mean end, by re-emphasizing one thing—
I deny any suggestion made by Mayor Zimmer that there was ever any conditions placed on the release of Sandy funds by me.
I want to thank you all for coming out, for giving me the opportunity to speak. I look forward to the inquiries. I am sure, absolutely sure all of the facts will come out.”