Democrat Roy Cooper’s administration has botched the Hurricane Matthew response from the very beginning and has subsequently sought out other people to blame for their ineptitude. Now, after another hurricane has hit, the national media is noticing.
Not only did his administration not spend the funds already appropriated, therefore blocking North Carolina from applying and receiving more aid, but his administration seemingly slow-walked the emergency management vendor process.
The process for selecting a vendor to manage the Community Development Block Grant program and related efforts didn’t even start until January of 2018. The vendor wasn’t picked until JUNE.
Senior officials in his administration even attempted to alter bid documents to make it seem like more than one vendor was being considered.
The vendor who was finally picked, IEM, has significant financial ties to Cooper’s campaign. IEM’s CEO gave Cooper the maximum donation of $5,100 in 2016 and has a history of making similar donations to other elected officials where her company does business or might be in the bidding process.
Now Cooper’s Hurricane Matthew screw ups have hit the national media as the SLOWEST spender of relief aid fund.
Excerpts from the NY Times:
As of Sept. 1, the state had spent just $2 million of $236.5 million of a federal Community Development Block Grant program. The state’s heels-in-tar pace earned North Carolina a spot on the list of “slow spenders” compiled by the housing department.
The bureaucratic distinction does not mean much to homeowners like Ms. Maynor, who recently received some good news: The state approved her request, then sent it to Lumberton town officials who assigned a contractor to inspect her old house to assess a reimbursement price.
But the mood remains grim on Lumberton’s predominantly African-American west side, which remained underwater over the weekend as water flowed through a hole in a dam on the Lumber River.
“There are 106 families in this town who have been told, over and over, help is on the way,” said Chris Howard Jr., a Lumberton councilman who lost one house in Matthew and another one, newly purchased, in Florence. “My constituents have basically gotten nothing, so far.”
As of August, which is just a month shy of two years since Hurricane Matthew hit, Roy Cooper couldn’t give any kind of timeline on relief getting to any of the victims.