NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Gracie Mansion has a higher fence, amid concerns about White House fence-jumping incursions recently raised security concerns.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that the head of the mayor’s security detail decided to raise the fence around the mansion.
The $4,250 gray fence was ordered following an NYPD security inspection after the White House fence jumping incident. The conclusion was that the six-foot brick wall that was already there could be “easily defeated.”
The New York Post reported Friday on the taller barrier being built inside the existing brick wall and wrought-iron fence around the mansion, which sits in a public park. Click here to see a picture of the newly-erected fence.
CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported that some neighbors are none too happy about the 10-foot privacy fence around the mansion that de Blasio called “the people’s mansion” shortly after he took office in January.
“That’s disgusting,” said Mack Mack of the Upper East Side. “That’s horrible.”
“I don’t really know if he’s a man of the people if people can’t look in,” said Jacob Shully of the Upper East Side.
“I don’t like it,” added Rose Yamovaska of Kips Bay. “Why? First of all, what’s the point to put it there? Is it his private mansion? No. It belongs to anybody who becomes mayor, and I don’t understand. If he’s afraid of any intrusion, he has police who is watching him.”
Kramer noted that for the entire 12 years that Michael Bloomberg was mayor, he lived on East 79th Street and had no fences. People walked by, and could even go up and ring the doorbell.
“There may indeed be some security concerns involved, but frankly, people will still say — regardless of the security concerns involved — weren’t they the same issues that other mayors had?” said political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. “And secondarily, they’ll say: ‘Wait a second. Here’s Mr. Open Government. Looks a little bit closed, doesn’t it?”
Kitty Brown of the Upper East Side said people like to observe the elegance of the mansion.
“This is the one little half of the area right there, where when there are state dinners and that kind of thing, people can kind of look in. You can see the beautiful people dressed up. You might see some other people – it’s really nice,” Brown said. “Keep the carriage horses and put the fence down – that’s what I say.”
The de Blasio family moved into the mansion back in July.
No one had lived at Gracie Mansion since Rudy Giuliani left office in 2001. Mayor Bloomberg remained in his opulent, but fence-free 79th Street town house throughout his 12-year administration, though he oversaw extensive renovations to Gracie Mansion.
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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)