NYC mayor: Response inept

Associated Press


Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged Thursday that the city’s response to the blizzard that dropped 20 inches of snow was “inadequate and unacceptable” and said it would be reviewed, but he continued to be criticized, including by one politician sharing the spotlight with him.

At an event in Queens where Bloomberg gave an update on the cleanup to reporters, Queens borough President Helen Marshall took the microphone to say her residents need more help. “Where is the plow?” she said.

The city’s cleanup efforts, which left streets covered in snow days after the storm had finished, “was slower than anyone would have liked,” Bloomberg said.

The Sanitation Department has plowed every city street at least once, except for those blocks where abandoned cars blocked the way, and 1,600 plows were on the roads, he said. The last of the 600 stuck buses had been cleared, as had most of the abandoned cars, he said.

The blizzard struck days before 100 Sanitation Department supervisors in charge of coordinating the plowing fleet were scheduled to be demoted in a budget-cutting move.

The timing of the demotions, scheduled for Jan. 1, ignited speculation that disgruntled supervisors had purposely sabotaged the snow removal effort in an act of revenge.

“I don’t think it took place, but we are going to do an investigation to make sure that it didn’t,” Bloomberg said.