Sources: More Heads Likely To Roll Over NYC Blizzard Debacle

Mayor's Mood Improves As He Tries To Change Public Opinion

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Friday’s storm was nothing like the blizzard that paralyzed the city, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg was determined to show people he can learn from his mistakes and that he can’t be “snowed” twice in two weeks.

CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports on the tale of two snow storms.

It was barely snowing in Bensonhurst on 18th Avenue on Friday when a salt spreader passed by the Moose Lodge senior center just minutes before Bloomberg was due to show up.


Or was it that the beleaguered mayor wanted to erase the ugly memories of stuck ambulances unable to reach the sick, and streets left unplowed for days and days.

“We don’t think the snowfall will be anything like the Christmas blizzard, but we are ready for any eventuality,” Bloomberg said.

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And although he was wearing a suit as he greeted seniors there were no more seemingly out-of-touch moments like when he urged snowbound New Yorkers to see a Broadway show and got angry with Kramer when she asked about the massive ambulance call backlog.

Following the Dec. 26 blizzard, Kramer told the mayor that there was a 1,300-call backup of EMS calls and a three-hour wait for response to priority. Bloomberg responded by saying, “What’s the question? I’m sorry. I hear the speech but …”

The question was how were sick people to get help with 170 ambulances stuck in the snow and no way to reach them. Despite a backlog that reached a high of 1,400 calls the mayor told Kramer with some impatience that EMS was “pretty much back to normal.”

On Friday, following the drubbing he took for the city’s blizzard response, the mayor’s tone changed. Asked if he has been arrogant in his snow response, Bloomberg dropped the combative tone.

“You know, I haven’t been out there shoveling with a shovel myself. That’s not my job. I don’t have a Class C license, so I can’t drive a garbage truck. But I don’t know. Look, I work as hard as I can and as you know our administration has always held ourselves accountable,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor said the city is expecting yet another snow storm in the middle of next week so he’ll get yet another chance to prove that he can shovel with the best of them.

However, the mayor’s new tone doesn’t mean there won’t be changes in his administration.

The Christmas blizzard has cost a number of city officials their jobs and the bloodletting may not be over yet.

People who read the tea leaves of city government say a picture of Bloomberg and Office of Emergency Management head Joseph Bruno speaks volumes about who’s in the mayor’s good graces and who’s not in the aftermath of the blizzard.

Compare: on Dec. 27 the picture showed the mayor surrounded by commissioners, including Bruno, when he met the press to discuss city response.

But on Thursday Bruno was missing when the mayor talked about preps for Friday’s storm. The mayor’s explanation was, well, a little thin.

“Joe Bruno is right now over at the Office of Emergency Management getting briefings, putting all the agencies together, doing what he’s supposed to do,” Bloomberg said.

Yeah, but sources said Bruno was also supposed to tell the mayor about the crash of the city’s emergency ambulance system — 170 ambulances stuck in the snow, a 1,400 call backlog — and not leave him open to embarrassment.

The first head to roll after Kramer exposed the EMS overload was, coincidently, John Perrugia, the head of EMS. On Friday, Kramer asked the mayor if he is considering any more blizzard-related personnel changes.

“We keep looking at things and evaluating and looking at seeing what worked and what didn’t work and whether we could have done it better and whether we think other people with a fresh view can do it better,” Bloomberg said.

Sources said that some changes won’t be announced until after the City Council blizzard hearings, which start on Monday.

The mayor said that one man who has job security is Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty. He said he wants Doherty by his side until the end of his mayoralty in three years.

  • Ivan

    I agree Bloomberg really sucks as a Mayor… not just with his response to the snow and using others as his scape goat…. how the hell do you fire someone when the Ambulance’s were all stuck on the street…. it’s not the job of the Ems chief to clear the street’s…. Bloomberg failed at his job and should resign himself rather than try and fire people for his own inadequate performance

    • Frank

      I love how the public just eats up everything the media tells them! The “EMS Chief” had his previous issues and this was a perfect opportunity to confront those issues. Deputy Mayor Goldsmith is 95% responsible for this for not only his massive cuts that reduced or minimum efforts to fight even a small storm but also,not declaring a snow emergency! The first 24hrs of the storm was spent pulling private citizens and trapped buses and ambulances out. The other part of the blame goes directly on Sanitation boss J.Doherty for his staff buying chains that were not good enough even for a car let alone a truck! These events along with a host of others doomed the city and I pray we don’t get another blizzard before Bloomberg can fix his mess.

  • LOL over this

    Why don’t we place plows on the ambulances. We pay them less than any other emergency service. ..Why not make them plow the streets and remove the garbage along with patients that have non-life threatening conditions?

  • Bob Fowler

    The problem isn’t Bloomberg, although he appears to be the main symptom. The problem is a lack of personal accountability from the populous. When did it become ok to leave your car abandoned in the middle of the street? Snow or not, people used to care enough about others that, upon getting stuck, you would dig yourself out, with the help of neighbors. Nowadays, there are no more neighbors, just self-centered, I want mine and only mine people who live on the same block.

    When I walked to school up hill both ways in the snow without shoes, people would leave their homes to help someone. And the someone was thankful. We now live in a society where everyone believes that they are entitled to everything, because they pay taxes, or are on the welfare rolls.

    Was mayor Bloomberg sleeping his plow shift away? Was he dispatching plows 8 hours after they were ready to roll? I don’t like him, nor do i think he should have been allowed to change the law to allow himself a 3rd term, but that doesn’t make him responsible for the failure of humanity and civilization.

    Be fair. Blame EVERYONE who was to blame. Just because your neighbor is a garbage man, and a good guy, doesn’t mean that he should have been napping when he was getting paid to plow.

  • Josh

    The only head which needs to roll is that of the Napoleonic jerk, Mike Bloomberg. There is nobody more responsible for the mess than he was. Responsibility starts at the top. Why should anyone else have to pay with the jobs when this guy was out of town during the blizzard? You can’t respond to an emergency when you are OUT OF TOWN!!!

  • Fox Mulder

    Michael Bloomberg is part of the global power elite. He, alone, has more money and power than many countries on the planet. Do you think he really cares at all about the state of snow removal in the city? That is like asking a Navy Seal if he needs to be hospitalized for a paper cut.

    No. His top priority is to position himself properly for what is to come at the end of his term. The world is about to head into a darkness that no person can even fathom. Michael will be sitting on the top rung – along with the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, David Rockefeller (and his lapdog Henry Kissinger) and others.

    Didn’t anyone even think to ask WHY Bloomberg was so determined to get a third term that he had the law changed? This is the key question.

    People need to start waking up and seeing these powerful people for what they are. Whatever their plans are, it is NOT for our benefit.

    The truth is out there. Trust no one.

  • BloombergSucks

    “Look, I work as hard as I can and as you know our administration has always held ourselves accountable,” Bloomberg said.” WOW, this turd of a mayor just flat out lies!!! On record, to a reporter, and he gets away with it. I wish i was a billionaire crooked politician!!

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