The Snow is Too Damn High
Today, Mayor Bloomberg reportedly "accepted responsibility" for the slow cleanup of Sunday's snowstorm. It caps a three-day odyssey of stupidity that is not typical of Michael Bloomberg. Next up is a January 10th City Council hearing on why it took so long to clear the streets.
Following is the press release Mayor Bloomberg should have released:
This past Sunday, the city was buried under almost two feet of snow. It was the sixth worst snowstorm in the city's recorded history. Since then, there have been numerous complaints about the slow pace of street clearing by the Department of Sanitation.
Over the past several years, because of the economic downturn, we have had to cut funding for all city departments, and Sanitation was no exception. As a result, services have also been cut, and plowing the snow is clearly one of those cuts. If we had the money, we could fund the Sanitation Department fully, and we would have seen the snow cleared with the speed that we have become accustomed to, and when the economy recovers I look forward to being able to fund all our city agencies and departments more fully.
I should have said this on Monday, so that people would have understood that things are going to move more slowly that usual, and for that failure I take full responsibility. I know the frustration that New Yorkers have been feeling over the past few days, and I deeply wish that we had the money to move the cleanup more quickly.
I also want to point out, however, that other elected officials are fully aware of the spending cuts that we have had to make. While these elected officials complained both privately and publicly about many of the cuts, none of them complained about cuts to Sanitation. It is therefore disingenuous at best, and downright hypocritical at worst, for any elected official to complain about the delays – they should know better!
To those elected officials who have been gathering information on streets that have not yet been plowed and passing that information on to the Sanitation Department, I applaud your efforts. To the ones who feel the need to feign outrage over something they should have known would happen, shame on you.
Okay, perhaps a less strident press release would suffice, but let's get the facts straight and tell our elected officials to stop being "shocked, shocked" that funding cuts mean slower service.