Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Effectively Managed FEMA Grant Funds Awarded for Hurricane Sandy Damages

One community got it right.  BEMA International

Newly Released

The latest DHS OIG report is available on our website.

(Report No. 17-21-D)

Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Effectively Managed FEMA Grant Funds Awarded for Hurricane Sandy Damages

The City of Perth Amboy, New Jersey (City), received an $11.3 million grant award from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (New Jersey), a FEMA grantee, for damages resulting from Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. We audited nine projects with net awards totaling $8.1 million. Our audit objective was to determine whether the City accounted for and expended FEMA funds according to Federal requirements.

For the projects we reviewed, the City effectively accounted for and expended Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance grant funds according to Federal regulations and FEMA guidelines. City officials accounted for disaster expenditures on a project-by-project basis; procured contracts for disaster work appropriately, and maintained adequate documentation to support the costs... READ FULL REPORT

Office of Public Affairs
E: dhs-oig.officepublicaffairs@oig.dhs.gov

Mayor Wilda Diaz

Mayor Wilda Diaz
Wilda Diaz was re-elected as Mayor of the City of Perth Amboy for a second [four-year] term in November 2012.  She was first sworn-in on July 1, 2008, becoming the first female to hold that office and currently the only elected Latina mayor in the State of New Jersey.
Since her election in 2008, Mayor Diaz has been at the forefront of issues such as expanding programs for our children, youth and families with the use of limited resources, creating an open and honest government, business expansion, job creation and preserving and restoring the City’s history. This includes her efforts placed towards two of the City’s most used historic structures, the Perth Amboy Free Public Library, with nearly $2 million in capital improvements and the redesign plans and preservation of the Perth Amboy Train Station, in 2013.  
Diaz, most importantly has taken an unwavering stance to stabilize the City’s financial condition, as she combats $250 million of inherited debt. Her administration established a Capital Improvement Program and other cost reducing strategies, which as a result has reduced the overall debt by over $50 million and saving a community from near bankruptcy.
Diaz’s aggressive business outreach and promotion of business advocacy has welcomed major corporations to Perth Amboy, such as Vopak, Bunzl, Viridian Partners and Buckeye Partners totaling over a $600 million of investment.
Mayor Diaz is also the first woman elected president and chair of the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association (NJUMA) as of January 2014.  Her two-year term is dedicated to working with state and federal lawmakers and officials to develop appropriate and effective public policy measures that affect all New Jersey cities. 
She also currently serves as the Chairwoman for the Perth Amboy Redevelopment Agency (PARA).
Prior to taking office, Mayor Diaz spent 20 years in the banking industry where she started as a teller at a local bank after graduating from Perth Amboy High School in 1983.  She quickly rose through the ranks and was an assistant vice-president with Banco Popular when she won the mayoral seat in May 2008 and as a result, resigned from that position.
A dedicated community activist, Mayor Diaz chaired the Board of Trustees for the Jewish Renaissance Medical Center, a nonprofit group that provides health care to underserved communities.
She was a driving force behind the Puerto Rican Patriotic Cultural Committee (Comité Cultural PatrióticoPuertorriqueño de Perth Amboy), which sponsors the annual Hall Avenue Puerto Rican festival.
Additionally, she served as a member of the Perth Amboy Merchants Association (PAMA) and has been honored by local organizations such as the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development (PRAHD) and the Jewish Renaissance Foundation (JFR) for her involvement in the community.
Mayor Diaz was named by El Diario La Prensa as “Mujeres Destacadas 2012” (Outstanding Women of 2012) and was featured in Real Simple Magazine as, “The Accidental Politician” among only four female mayors in the nation.
Mayor Wilda Diaz is a life-long resident of Perth Amboy and a graduate of Perth Amboy High School. She and her husband Greg have two adult children, Gregory and Samantha.
Mayor's Office Contact Number: 732.826.7121

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