Thursday, April 8, 2010

Feds met with Tinton Falls, Colts Neck officials

The Asbury Park Press reports that six reps from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative branch of the U.S. Congress, met with Colts Neck officials in an ongoing security and cost-benefits analysis of proposed civilian housing at NWS Earle, but NOPE also knows that the GAO met on Tuesday with the superintendent, business administrator and Board of Education president of Tinton Falls Borough, whose participation cannot be overlooked.

Either way, having briefed the GAO ourselves earlier this year, NOPE can attest to the importance of these fact-finding meetings as the GAO works toward completion of a study that will no doubt validate NOPE's contention that civilian housing at an active Naval Weapons base is a recipe for disaster.

Although disappointed that (according to APP) the GAO's study will not be published until "late summer" (August is the date we're hearing), NOPE can only suspect that the complexity of this case involving the U.S. Military's use of outsource contractors to build "privatized" military housing is what is causing the delay from the initially hoped-for release date of April-May. Still, whether or not the Navy and Laurelwood Homes, LLC come to some kind of buyout, the GAO's findings will make clear that the Navy's plan not only puts NWS Earle's own security (i.e. the base itself and the service members who work there) at risk, but exposes the surrounding communities to undue security, economic and environmental harm. NOPE expect that the study will also expose the flaws of privatized military housing and give Congress something to consider in terms of how the Military can best equip service members with housing, as we have discussed anecdotally here on the NOPE blog.

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