Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bloomberg Was In Town?

According to Daily Politics, Mike Bloomberg was actually in town during the snow storm: "Our Glenn Blain caught up with the mayor earlier today, and here's what he had to say when questioned about his whereabouts during the storm: "Dec. 25th was Christmas, I started out, if you were there, at St. Patrick’s Midnight Mass, where all Jewish boys go. Ed Koch has been there for 30-odd years. The archbishop said he was pleased to see me. I assume he was. And then the next day it was dealing with the snowstorm and you saw me at the press conference.”

Could this really be true? And, if it is true, does this actually indict the mayor's snow conduct even more? At least with his absence you could attribute the screw up to, well, his absence. But if this managerial meltdown occurred with Bloomberg in the house, it raises the failure to an entirely different level of ineptitude.

But we take nothing said by the mayor at face value-and even if he was in town, it doesn't take away from CM Vallone's excellent suggestion that the mayor-any mayor-must officially notify the city clerk if he or she plans to leave the country (or leave town for more than 24 hours). Still, if Bloomberg was gallivanting around the city on Christmas Day, than the failure to declare a snow emergency indicates that the mayor was simply out to lunch-and not up to the leadership role.

But our obsession with the mayor's whereabouts is not idiosyncratic-and the NY Daily Mews picks up the theme we have been hammering for the past week in its editorial today, saying that Bloomberg owes an accounting of just where he was when the snow was falling: "Mayor Bloomberg's aides have given conflicting accounts of who was - or was not - in charge of municipal action as the Christmas weekend blizzard bore down on the city while Hizzoner was elsewhere. Referring to Bloomberg and to Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith, our former colleague Errol Louis asked Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson on New York 1: "If the deputy mayor and the mayor are not in New York, who's running the city? Who's running operations?" Wolfson answered: "Depending on the week, whenever this was, it would be one of the other deputy mayors."Louis followed up: "Do you know who it was?" Wolfson: "I do not."

This is beginning to sound like a reprise of the famous Abbot and Costello, "Who's on first?" routine-and the News isn't buying the BS: "
Yesterday, a mayoral spokesman said there is no such City Hall weekly rotation and that Bloomberg was fully in charge and in "constant contact" while he was ... elsewhere. What kind of contact - phone, email, text message, teleconference - was there between the mayor and aides while he was ... elsewhere? How constant was it? And where exactly was ... elsewhere? The spokesman declined to say. And that's not good enough."

 The mayor's location, as we reiterate for the slow learners, is a crucial issue because of the city's failure to declare a snow emergency: "What's known about Bloomberg's whereabouts and actions is that he attended midnight Mass late Friday and was next seen in the city more than 36 hours later, at 2:45 p.m. on the day after Christmas.In between, the National Weather Service upgraded its warning to a blizzard level, the administration failed to declare a snow emergency and the Sanitation Department mobilized and embarked on its failed plowing effort.:

This, as they say, isn't personal, it's business. We'll give the News the last word: "The intent appears to be to provide no detailed rundown on the mayor's command during the 36-hour hiatus - no ticktock of the information he got or the orders he gave. New Yorkers are owed at least that information, along with where Bloomberg was. He says his private time is just that, private time. Generally, he is correct. But in this instance, his private time became public time. Bloomberg also says that, thanks to technology, his location was irrelevant. The public should be the judge of that, not him."