Mayor Bill de Blasio may have said that his sanitation department could have done more to remove snow from Upper East Side streets after Tuesday’s storm, but at least one Brooklyn councilman thinks the mayor should not be apologizing to the tony neighborhood.
Councilman David Greenfield, who was elevated to chair the council’s influential land use committee thanks to a deal brokered by Mr. de Blasio, delivered a blistering defense of the snow clearing operation on his radio show yesterday, calling the people of the Upper East Side “complainers.”
“I’ll tell you overall, I thought Brooklyn was good. The people on the Upper East Side, quite frankly, they, they’re complainers. You know they’re not used to this idea that we’re gonna share resources in New York City,” declared Mr. Greenfield. “So then you have the streets that are passable, but they weren’t what I would call ‘lickable.’ They couldn’t eat off the streets. They said, ‘Oy vey, there’s a little bit of ice on the street.’”
“Do me a favor, we’ve been contending with ice on our street for the last hundred years,” he continued. “So you’re finally getting some equity which means that the resources are being spread around, but this really didn’t leave them alone. There certainly was no scandal that was involved and the mayor, to his credit,” he added, paid a visited to the neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon “to show them that he cared about them.”
Among council members, reactions to the city’s snow removal efforts have somewhat reflected new divisions created by a bitter race for council speaker. Early supporters of the new de Blasio-backed speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, have generally declined to vocally criticize the administration for an allegedly slow response, while those who did not support her early on have been more willing. That includes Manhattan’s Dan Garodnick as well as Staten Island’s Vincent Ignizio, who both took to Twitter to document what they described as a sluggish response.
Mr. Greenfield, like many council members, as well as the new mayor, had blasted former Mayor Michael Bloomberg back in 2010 when a post-Christmas blizzard left many streets clogged with snow and ice for days. Yesterday, he again tweaked Mr. Bloomberg while praising his successor.
“I think the reality is that we’re seeing, for the first time, a fair distribution of resources,” Mr. Greenfield said. “Bloomberg had a lot of good things about him but one of the bad things about him was that he believed Manhattan was the center of the universe and it’s not. Everyone knows that Brooklyn is the center of the universe.”
“I’m joking, half joking, perhaps,” he quipped.