On September 16, 2010 it was a “microburst,” a combination of wind, rain and hail that bombarded our neighborhood leaving it looking like a war zone with trees down all over our local streets. To add insult to injury the Bloomberg Administration completely abandoned our neighborhood leaving us to fend for ourselves with no police or emergency services readily available to help our residents.
On December 26, 2010 completing a one-two punch coming off the September 16th “microburst,” our neighborhood was hit with a record snowstorm, 20 inches to be exact, very high winds, over 50 MPH, and while the main roads were plowed the secondary streets, where most of us live, stayed in bad shape until December 30th, the Thursday of that infamous week. Forget about the tertiary streets where the residents pay as much taxes as the other designations, they were basically lost in the ozone.
The bottom line is that the Bloomberg Administration once again failed Middle Village and Maspeth. A snow emergency was never called and the claim from the Bloomberg Administration was that the city was “blindsided” by the storm. Forget the fact that all the newscasts were warning of its impending hit on our area.
Mayor Bloomberg reportedly was in Bermuda, his Deputy Mayor, Stephen Goldsmith, was out of town, OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno was a spectator rather than a leader and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty was invisible which was better than when he emerged only to give his workers an A-Plus rating for doing a great job! No, you can’t make this stuff up! I’d like to have some of the Kool Aid this guy was on!
While we struggled to free ourselves from the avalanche of crippling snow we had no leadership at City Hall; once again abandoned by the Bloomberg Administration. Then when Bloomberg did emerge later on in the day he pompously stated in his arrogant way of marginalizing a serious moment, “Take in a Broadway Show.” Another vacuous quote from Bloomberg, “Complaining doesn’t help!” Bloomberg appeared clueless to the reality that the city of New York was struggling to get ambulances and emergency vehicles down the unplowed streets.
The Juniper Park Civic Association kept in constant touch with Lydon Sleeper, Chief of Staff from Council Member Elizabeth Crowley’s office, and Lydon did all he could to get our streets plowed; succeeding in some of the effort. Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi also was helpful, keeping in touch by phone and taking down some of the key secondary streets that needed to be plowed in an effort to unclog our roadways. Early on I made the statement that it looked like a “job action.” The trucks could be seen driving down some of our streets with their plows raised, virtually doing nothing but literally making a lot of noise to tease you into thinking they were doing their job when in reality they were “playing in the snow!”
In a nutshell, Michael Bloomberg lives in a world where no one dares bring reality to his decisions. He wastes his time concentrating whimsically on bike lanes and appointing a clueless Cathie Black as the School Chancellor who has no experience for the job. Also, in his sleepwalk he’s ready to slash the income and pensions of our city workers. He responded to the blizzard with detached indifference and nonsensical answers to the criticism that the Sanitation Department didn’t do its job. If it’s not in Manhattan it’s off Bloomberg’s map.
The NYC Council is holding hearings to get to the bottom of what happened in the blizzard of 2010 and if realistic changes are made, no question, heads should fly. One has to look at the Sanitation Commissioner, John J. Doherty, and the decisions he made bringing “the greatest city in the world” to this hopeless and dangerous point. Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith should have stayed out of town and OEM Commissioner Joseph Bruno has no leadership ability and should be fired. Maybe to show some involvement Bloomberg had no trouble finding a scapegoat. He quickly announced the demotion of FDNY Chief of EMS, John Puruggia.
Let me end with the question put to Stephen Goldsmith, John Doherty and Joseph Bruno from City Council Member Erich Ulrich when he gave testimony at the city council hearings, “Why is it that John Puruggia loses his job and you guys get to keep yours?”
Good question! Why?