This afternoon Mayor Bill de Blasio harshly criticized the New York Times for a specific story published last night/today. A Rough Final Winter For New York’s Sanitation Chief described the recent tribulations of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty arising from a blizzard of media and public complaints that the Sanitation Department failed to adequately perform it’s snow removal duties during the January 21-22 storm. Taking a rich look at Commissioner Doherty’s Sanitation Department career, which began in 1960, the article also portrayed Doherty as essentially on the outs with the mayor and likely to be pushed out of the Department by winter’s end.
Here is de Blasio’s statement:
Here are a few observations on the Times article, de Blasio, Doherty and current snow politics. Continue reading
Today Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference addressing the city’s response to the storm that arrived overnight. The fourth storm of de Blasio’s five weeks as mayor, it brought the new wrinkle of including ice as part of the precipitation.
Rock Salt & Governor Cuomo:
Wednesday morning, Governor Cuomo told reporters that in order to alleviate a shortage of rock salt, he was ordering deliveries of New York State’s rock salt supplies to New York City and other municipalities. When asked by the NY Times Kate Taylor, Mayor de Blasio described a far less dire supply situation, while seeking to avoid any sort of dispute with the governor. The question also featured a rare on-camera moment for First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris. Although he’s frequently at the mayor’s press conferences, Shorris clearly prefers an off-camera role.
Update – Full Press Q&A:
Mayor de Blasio answered storm related “on-topic” questions only. Among the questions: whether he’ll speed up his move to Gracie Mansion in order to avoid snow shoveling, a reported road salt shortage, the current blood supply shortage and whether he’ll donate blood, whether he would consider allowing boroughs or school districts to make their own decisions on closing for inclement weather, the 911 response times and city overtime costs, what Sanitation Commissioner Doherty learned from the second storm of this administration, the cause of a signal failure this morning on the 1/2/3 subway line and his take on the many snow storms in his brief tenure. Here is his full press Q&A.
Hoping that the third time’s the charm, Mayor de Blasio held a press conference today to discuss the City’s storm preparation and snow removal efforts during the third snow storm of his administration.
de Blasio answered on-topic questions only. Among them were changes in plowing routes and Sanitation Department operations, conditions on Staten Island, whether passenger cars complicated the snow removal in the prior storm, the utilization of traffic agents, whether he preemptively planned any neighborhood tours “to express regret”, whether the Sanitation Department is utilizing Police Department street cameras to assist in snow removal and whether New Yorkers have unrealistic expectations concerning snow removal. Here is his full press Q&A.
Update – Action:
During the press conference, reporter Marcia Kramer of WCBS-TV relayed complaints from Staten Islanders concerning a particular road. Here’s what happened.
Update #2 – Unrealistic Expectations?:
Do New Yorkers have unrealistic expectations concerning snow removal? That’s what Josh Robin of NY1 asked Mayor de Blasio this afternoon. Here’s how the mayor responded.