If you want someone to watch your trans-fats, call Mike.  If you think there’s too much salt in your favorite Pad-Thai take out or you need a new bike lane, Bloomy’s your guy.  If you need to get your ambulance across town during a snowstorm, well, you’re pretty much hosed here.

This is the guy New Yorkers felt could lead them out of the doom and gloom of the financial crisis, so much that they allowed him to change the rules on term limits so he could run again.  This is positively karmic.  Our friends at Salon are quite convinced that the great snowplow sit-in is all “secondhand say-so of unidentified New York employees”. And anyway, Bloomberg is at fault because he did not make the call for a snow emergency soon enough.

The New York Times notes  “an integral role in the city’s best blizzard response plans was filled not by municipal workers but by private contractors and construction crews…” Interesting.  Here we have accounts of plows cruising main arteries that were clear while bypassing secondary streets that never saw a plow for the duration of the event.  We have videos of drivers asleep in their equipment.  We have 5 employees fessing up to City Councilman Dan Halloran that they were told to retaliate against the mayor for budget cuts.

So that pretty much sets the stage for you.  In New York, the mayor has to be the one to call a snow emergency, not those who know the streets, the equipment and what needs to be done.  (Of course, they probably don’t communicate with the mayor’s office either.)  And the integral part has always been: yup, the dreaded private sector.  Can’t do it unless we call in that dreaded private sector.  And don’t forget, there was no slow-down, because those 5 guys were “unidentified”.

It’s not like the unions have ever staged a sit-in, slow-down, transit strike, or refused to pick up garbage, ever just to inconvenience those they work for.  Or to protest a budget cut.  Their hands are clean.  Sorry, pattern recognition at work here.  Too many reports of plows driving with blades up, passing streets that were clogged with snow.  I find this all amusing, but wonder: Is this what New Yorkers wanted? They support Bloomberg wholeheartedly, as they do the unions.  But if your employee refuses to come into work or do the job you’re paying him to do, whether you call him mayor or sanitation engineer, at what point do you get angry and call for some change?

Nothing will come from any of this.  And let’s not forget there are deaths attributed to this poor response.  Don’t look for the press to follow up on this either.  Certainly not the Times or Salon.com.  I say we take those 5 unidentified employees, stand them on the steps of city hall, give them whistleblower status and let the snow fly, as it were.  Yeah, a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening.

Advertisements