RALEIGH – Last week news broke that the administration of Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper had yet to spend a single dime of $236.5 million in disaster relief HUD grants. The legislature held hearings on the issue in which lawmakers from both sides blasted Cooper administration officials for the slow progress.
Now a former governor is piling on, and suggesting Cooper reach out to former governors for help in actually putting the relief money into action.
“Former Gov. Pat McCrory blasted what he calls a “leadership void” in Gov. Roy Cooper’s Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts, and he’s offering to assemble a group of former governors to help out.
“I take it personally — as governor I made a promise to those citizens impacted by the floods that the state would help them,” McCrory told the NC Insider on Monday. “When I see a lack of action, it means that promise was broken.”
That editorial in the Virginian-Pilot lamented North Carolina’s lack of progress compared to Virginia and South Carolina, on the heels of reports that North Carolina has yet to spend anything from a pot of federal money that’s supposed to put families displaced by the storm into new homes.
Hurricane Matthew struck the East Coast more than a year and a half ago, in October 2016.
“In the absence of any other explanation, the inaction so far suggests a lack of competence,” the paper wrote.
Cooper’s administration has also faced criticism from lawmakers and others for delays in spending federal disaster funding. NC Emergency Management hasn’t yet spent any of a $236.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; the agency says it’s processing applications for the funding and will begin projects in the coming months.
“Sadly, the federal money which I began the process to get has just sat and done nothing,” McCrory said. “There doesn’t seem to be any energy directed out of the governor’s office to make things happen.””
Even other states are ripping the Cooper administration for incompetence. Cooper is from Eastern North Carolina – you’d think he would make the distribution of disaster relief funds a priority.
Maybe he is too busy contemplating which frivolous lawsuit to bring against the Republican legislature next to take the time to insure his executive agencies are doing their jobs as efficiently as possible?
Read more on Cooper’s incompetence here.