NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — “Rude.” “Disrespectful.” “Insulting.”
Those were words used by various voters to describe Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tardiness at Wednesday’s memorial ceremony for Flight 587.
On Thursday night, one of the victims’ family members told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer a new one — chutzpah.
“They asked us to delay the moment of silence to wait until the mayor got there,” Miriam Estrella said.
It was an explosive charge about the mayor’s failure to show up on time for a memorial service commemorating the 13th anniversary of the crash of the American Airlines flight.
Estrella, who lost five family members in the crash, refused. She rang the bell starting the moment of silence at precisely 9:16 a.m., the exact moment of the crash.
“They kept telling us, ‘Wait, he’s coming. He’s coming,’ and I said, no, we’re not waiting. We’re not going to wait for him for a moment of silence. It happened at a certain time. That’s the time that we have to toll the bells,” Estrella said.
The mayor, who has racked up quite a reputation as “Billy come lately” for his chronic tardiness, offered two excuses: He took a boat that was delayed by fog, and, “I was just not feeling well this morning. I had a very rough night. I woke up sluggish, and I should have gotten myself moving quicker … (I) just woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep and I felt really sluggish and off-kilter this morning.”
“Everyone has had a rough night, but you have to do your job the right way,” Estrella said in response.
The tabloids had a field day with the latest incident of “DST,” or de Blasio Standard Time. And New Yorkers passing the newsstand had a lot to say.
“He’s a big boy. He should make his appointments. I make my appointments. He should make his appointments,” said Dennis Reiff of the Upper West Side. “I think it’s rude.”
“I think that’s ludicrous and crass for him to be so self-centered and not think about other people,” added Innocent Obi of the Bronx.
“He needs to be on time. You know? It’s not showing respect,” added Fatima Sukkur of Borough Park.
“I think he’s got a lot on his plate. I think he does the best he can. I feel badly that he didn’t get there on time, but it is what it is and I don’t think he did it with bad intention,” said Bonnie Diaz of Midtown.
When told that the mayor tried to get the moment of silence delayed, Reiff said, “He’s a piece of work.”
The mayor’s office said it was “trying to figure out” if staffers asked to delay the service.
Meanwhile, state Republicans added their two cents to the controversy — actually two cans of Red Bull. They’re sending the mayor the energy drink to help his morning sluggishness.
Apparently the “Bull” part was not a comment on his excuses, Kramer reported.
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