NEW YORK (CBS 2) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Saturday schedule said “no public events,” and on Sunday he had a pre-taped radio address. But where was the mayor this weekend and who was in charge during his absence?
Bloomberg deflected that question posed by CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer on Monday during a news conference.
“I was in charge of the city and in terms of public events, I will give you the phone number of Stu Loeser. He has the public schedule. He’ll be happy to tell you what’s on it,” Bloomberg said.
The mayor’s whereabouts have taken on new urgency after city officials admitted dropping the ball during the Christmas blizzard because Bloomberg and his deputy were not in the city, Kramer reported.
Now, City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is introducing a bill to demand that the mayor notify people whenever he leaves the city. The bill would also designate a deputy and require the individual to remain in the city in the mayor’s absence.
“I think it’s important that we know who’s in charge at all times,” Vallone told Kramer.
Vallone said he was especially concerned about a terrorist attack and alluded to problematic lines of communication during 9/11.
“We can’t spend one second trying to figure out who’s in charge,” Vallone said.
When pressed further, Bloomberg insisted that he was the man in charge at all times.
Kramer: Don’t you think that the public has a right to know whether you’re in charge. Who’s in charge?
Bloomberg: I told you miss that I’m in charge.
Kramer: Peter Vallone says…
Bloomberg: I don’t know what Peter Vallone says, you should talk to Peter Vallone.
Kramer: In times of a terrorist attack…when cell phones go down and when electronics go down, they have the right to know someone who’s in charge.
Bloomberg: The mayor was in charge all the time.
Now the question may be whether the mayor is able to prevent the Vallone bill from ever coming up for a vote.