Tale of Two Snowplows
The Land of Ice & Snow
Mayor Bill de Blasio today defended his administration’s snow-clearing efforts, brushing aside allegations that plows skipped the Upper East Side in an act of political revenge.
“They’re just mistaken. No one was treated differently. We believe in a five-bough approach in everything we do,” he told reporters, taking questions during a storm briefing at a Brooklyn firehouse.
Mayor Bill de Blasio strode into his first emergency storm briefing like a brigadier leading his newly-sworn-in troops to battle to confront his first real crisis: an impending snow storm on Day One.
“We can take on any storm, anywhere,” he’d declared hours earlier. “Before you even think about the politics or anything else, the bottom line is it’s our job … First thing we do, we protect people’s lives, we keep the streets safe and clear.”
In the Department of Investigation’s report, City Councilman Dan Halloran is quoted telling one sanitation worker who may have knowledge of a worker slowdown, that “if you don’t want to talk, I will find a disgruntled worker who is ready to retire who is.”
The quote undermines the credibility of how Halloran, a Republican from northeast Queens, came across insider information about sanitation workers who, out of anger with City Hall, intentionally botched the December 2010 snow removal.
Highlights from the Department of Investigations’ report:
DOI obtained and viewed 24 hours of footage from City
surveillance cameras in various parts of the City, which collectively
showed approximately 265 City trucks in the streets on December 26th to
27th, most of which were visibly plowing the snow. There appears to be
an explanation from the video as to why some trucks had plows lifted,
while others with raised plows are not readily explainable from the
video footage. The tapes were turned over to DSNY for further analysis.
Other DSNY trucks that appeared to the public to be doing
nothing were stuck with DSNY employees instructed to stay with trucks -
creating a negative impression with the public. While stuck with their
trucks, DSNY employees were observed napping, or buying coffee or food,
again leaving an impression with members of the public that employees
were not doing their job.