Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to a hardware store in the Bronx this afternoon to tout his administration’s clean-up efforts regarding the blizzard that hit the city on Sunday and to express regret that in places the storm seemed to find the city unprepared.
But he had no patience for the chorus of critics–some of whom were allies, like council Speaker Christine Quinn–who have questioned his administration’s readiness for this storm.
“I don’t think politics has anything to do with this,” he said in response to a reporter’s question about the criticism. “It’s trying to get the city back and making sure we have everybody working together and that we look at our procedures and see if we could have done better and if we couldn’t ok, but at least if we can do better want to make sure we do it the next time. It doesn’t really help anybody to get involved in this. I think maybe they don’t have enough things to do if that’s what they are focusing on.”
The news conference came over 48 hours after the last snow flakes fell and the city continued to thaw, even, as the mayor conceded, some smaller streets have yet to be plowed. Bloomberg said that once the clean-up effort was complete his administration would go back and evaluate what went wrong. He said that they were using the same playbook to clear the streets as they have always used, but admitted that without the same results. A difference between this and previous clean-up efforts, he said, was that there were far more cars and buses stuck in the snow in the middle of thoroughfares, which made plowing more difficult.
“We did not do as good a job as we wanted to do or as the city has a right to expect. And there is no question, we are an administration that is built on accountability. When it works, it works and we take credit. And when it doesn’t work we stand up there and say, ‘Ok, we did it. We will try to find out what went wrong and then try to make that information public.”‘
The mayor said that he would ignore calls to sack Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, calling him “the best sanitation commissioner this city has ever had, period, bar none.”
And the mayor pushed back against a narrative that has been developing that he favors Manhattan over the outer boroughs, saying that it made sense to clear primary roads before hitting the smaller roads in less dense areas.
“I care about all parts of this city. I tried to visit all parts while I have been in office,” he said, adding. “You have to do as much good as you can with the resources that you have.”