Investigation Will ‘Make Sure’ Protest Didn’t Occur
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the words “unacceptable” and “inadequate” to describe NYC’s slow response to clearing piles of snow from city streets. Bloomberg also commented on reports that city workers may have intentionally slowed their response in protest at a news conference Thursday.
“When something goes wrong, we find out why it went wrong and then we roll up our sleeves and fix it. And that’s exactly what we’ll do here,” Bloomberg told reporters including WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall.
City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens) said that three plow workers from the Sanitation Department confessed to dragging out the plowing process as part of a supervisor-mandated protest to recent layoffs and budget cuts by the mayor.
“The 3 sanitation workers that came in to see me basically indicated that when they reported for duty their supervisors gave them a speech that went something like this: ‘Guys don’t worry we’re not going to be out in the field on top of you. If you miss a street, it’s okay, don’t worry about it,’” Halloran said.
“I don’t think it took place, but we’re going to do an investigation to make sure that it didn’t,” Bloomberg said.
“Unfortunately, I think the rogue group of supervisors who felt that this was a good idea to send the mayor a message actually did just the opposite for themselves. They basically told the city of New York that their labor issues were more important than public safety,” Halloran told 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney.
Halloran called the “protest” unfortunate and said the situation won’t be taken lightly. The head of the Sanitation Workers Union, however, said the slowdown protest was not true.
“There’s no call of action by any union. We just don’t do that. Nobody gains by it. How do we gain by doing something like that? We lose,” Harry Nespoli, President of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association said.
CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman was in Queens Village and spoke to some residents still not satisfied by the mayor’s words.
“I heard the Mayor talking about all the streets cleaned. This is 208th Street — nothing cleaned. Nothing,” Cecilia Vaughan said.
Speculation into Sanitation Slow Down
In the Bronx, Councilman James Vacca had a sit-down with the mayor to relay the anger of the voters.
“We should not be saying ‘do you live on a prime street or secondary street or tertiary street.’ I’m going to rename the tertiary street, ‘taxpaying streets,’” Vacca told reporters.
Residents from the outer boroughs in particular were angry, saying many side streets in western Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn were neglected.
Bloomberg toured the outer boroughs Thursday to get a first-hand look at the clean up and admitted it did not meet the standards of New York City, 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reported.
Mayor Tours Brooklyn to See Snow Removal Situation
PHOTO GALLERY: Is Your Street Plowed Yet? Send Us Your Pictures
‘Too Little, Too Late’
“We’re looking every time, waiting for a plow. Nobody comes out here. I mean, what are we supposed to do?” said Mendy Shapiro of Borough Park.
“I’m very upset. And I think everybody in this neighborhood is upset,” another resident said.
Mobile 2 Checks on Street Conditions with Councilman Greenfield
Meanwhile, Gov. David Paterson has also ordered an investigation into the city’s response.
“We’ll find out what was different this time and try to do everything to make sure it’s better next time,” Bloomberg said.