NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Questions have arisen about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent appearance on the national political stage.
Some New Yorkers say he should be focusing on fixing problems here at home instead, like potholes. There’s everywhere, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Friday.
De Blasio returned to New York City on Friday after a star turn in Iowa, where he lamented the nation’s rampant income inequality and kind of upstaged Hillary Clinton, that other New York Democrat, on her first trip there as a presidential candidate.
“We’re in the great unknown right now. We’re in a place we have not been, because the income disparity in this country is sharper and different,” de Blasio said.
But it turns out that there are a number of people in New York City who think the mayor should have put potholes before politicking.
Take Staten Island state Sen. Diane Savino, for example. De Blasio’s fellow Democrat took to Facebook to say: “Dude, you do have a city to run. If you want to go on a day trip come to Staten Island and fill some potholes, come to Coney Island and help with youth violence.”
Demanding answers, Kramer contacted the Department of Transportation, which said that since last Saturday, 15,473 potholes have been filled. However, Kramer also traveled around the city — from Brooklyn to Manhattan — and found there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“His mind is elsewhere. It’s not here in New York. It’s on his national dreams, his national ambitions, and that’s what he’s pursuing rather than managing this great city,” state GOP Chairman Edward Cox said.
Some voters think that instead of competing for the national spotlight he should compete for the title of “Mayor Pothole,” Kramer reported.
“Take care of problems — the potholes. Start with the potholes,” Laurelton, Queens resident Azi Smart said. “We have, like, too much of it — you understand? And then the city, all the bums coming back, and the garbage, everything.”
“I don’t think he should be there. He should be worrying about New York City,” added Angela Dupree of Harlem.
“I think de Blasio should do a better job. I mean, he’s not even helping out the Veterans,” added Joe Mondello of the Bronx.
“That’s not fair for him to go somewhere else — instead of, you understand, we voted for him. They didn’t vote for him,” said Travis Reed of East New York.
Since December the city has filled more than 265,000 potholes. The city told Kramer that 67 crews will be sent out Saturday to continue the work.
A spokesman for the mayor said that while he is “laser-focused on the nuts and bolts of government,” he will also “continue to fight on the national stage for the city’s fair share of funds for transportation, affordable housing and job creation.”