The controversy surrounding the snow removal from last week's blizzard inevitably centered on whether or not the man and women of the Sanitation Department were involved in some kind of job action-and some saw in this targeting as a classic case of misdirection away from the mayor's ultimate responsibility. The credibility of this assertion, however, devolved from the undeniable fact that the current fiscal crisis has led to the Bloomberg administration's move for a reduction of the sanitation work force.
This move-emblematic of an entire across the board policy initiative involving layoffs and borrowing-may say more about the mayor's managerial skills than the snow removal failure itself, Nicole Gelinas lays this out: "Mayor Bloomberg suffered a governance meltdown last week, as unplowed snow blocked streets for days. But snow, at least, melts. The bigger disaster is still accumulating -- and New Yorkers haven't yet seen the extent of the damage. When Bloomberg took office, Gotham spent $1.3 billion annually on the Sanitation Department. Today, we spend more than $2.2 billion on "New York's Strongest." That increase is almost 3½ times the inflation rate. It follows that we should have a sanitation army sufficiently equipped to clean up the white (or gray) stuff fast."