By David Cruz
The official kickoff of the summer season is more than a month away, but Gov. Chris Christie joined local officials to get a look at progress being made to the Seaside boardwalk damaged by September’s fire.
“On Sept. 12 of last year, I was sitting in a meeting with all of my cabinet officers that deal with Sandy. We have a weekly meeting in my office and we were sitting in that meeting when I got passed a note saying that there was a fire on the boardwalk. It was unthinkable to me. Millions of dollars again in damages that we’re rebuilding. As you can see already, have more work to do” Christie said.
On the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, the governor promised a hands-on oversight of the rebuilding.
“Anyone whether you’re in the public sector or private sector who is slowing us down from getting this project done will have to talk to me and feel one-on-one my powers of gentle persuasion,” said Christie.
Later, in a scene bound to be repeated up and down the shore this summer, the governor stopped for hugs and selfies and even spoke to a reporter.
“I think they’ve made some good progress. We’re going to need to make some more progress to Seaside Park, from what I hear there’s kind of one business owner still left hanging out there who isn’t playing ball, so hopefully we can persuade that person to get on board so we can finish the rest of the boardwalk. I think they’re very close. The mayor of Seaside Park is very encouraging about the progress they’re making. DCA has been down here working a lot with them to bring the other business owners around. I think there was six as of last week, now there’s just one,” Christie said.
The governor said he wanted to get down here early to reinforce the fact that the shore is open for business. He said, “Don’t worry I’ll be back here so much, you people are gonna get sick of me.”