After roughly 35 Floridians protested outside of a campaign fundraiser, state Governor Charlie Crist attempted to ease the concerns of residents facing the struggle of Chinese Drywall. The News-Press reports
Gov. Charlie Crist walked over to a group of about 35 protesters who have defective drywall at about 7 p.m. today and told them what they wanted to hear: That he would look into making an emergency declaration on the drywall.
This response came, however, after a series of comments that make some question just how aware of the situation the Florida governor is. When he first began discussing the issue with the protestors, Crist urged them to seek help from the Charlotte County Housing Authority and the funding it holds for Housing and Urban Development. The group quickly rebuked him, clarifying the funds were earmarked and demonstrating the knowledge and wherewithal that comes from dealing with such a chaotic situation as Chinese Drywall, and the pursuit of assistance, has been.
While Crist then followed up explaining the potential of a state intervention, some protestors remained skeptical.
“A snow job,” Hummer said. The reason is that Crist began talking about HUD funds as an answer when those funds are already allocated and any trickle left over that could be dedicated to drywall remediation will not make a dent in the problem.
They were suspicious because Crist told them he had just been briefed on the issue on the way over to the fundraiser.
“He was just briefed? How can he be briefed?” asked Cardiello. “Does he live under a rock?”
While cynicism may be involved in the protestor responses, the faulty answer of the governor is an unfortunate red flag amidst a situation in which people are desperately looking for answers. Though a ruling from New Orleans seems imminent, the time it would take for that money to come in and make an impact in the lives of Gulf Coast residents struck with faulty sheetrock is unclear.
More information, as it becomes available, will be posted on this blog. For more information on the ongoing Chinese Drywall debacle, click here.