NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is on the hot seat once again.
He’s being forced to defend his work ethic and mayoral schedule amid his presidential campaign, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
You can be forgiven if you need to be reminded who de Blasio is because, admittedly, he hasn’t been around much. He was spotted Wednesday on the way to the gym after blowing off two high-profile events on Tuesday, including the introduction of the city’s first hate crimes czar.
The mayor’s priority? Doing an interview about his presidential campaign with reporter Terrell Starr and “The Root” website.
Starr tweeting a picture of the mayor admiring his t-shirt, which featured former Black Panther Angela Davis.
“When someone has an office and they run for another office you’re going to put time into your campaign while doing your current office. That’s what I’ve been doing. You just make choices,” de Blasio said at a press conference Wednesday.
The mayor’s choices came under fire at a heated press conference, where hizzoner insisted he works hard, even amid reports he spent just 11 hours at City Hall during the entire month of May.
So what does he actually do when there’s nothing on his schedule?
“There’s no such thing as nothing,” de Blasio said. “You have a certain amount of scheduled activity and then you have an incessant amount of unscheduled activity. Six in the morning until 10 or 11 at night and it doesn’t matter where I am.”
But many say it does matter.
“It’s hard to show leadership in New York City when you’re hiking in the mountains of Nevada,” City Councilman Mark Treyger said earlier this week.
Kramer asked the mayor if he feels he’s giving fair value to the people who pay his salary, and if prorating his salary based on the actual number of days he’s in City Hall would quell some of the criticism he receives.
“No, Marcia. I’m sorry, the work that I’m responsible for continues non-stop. We’re getting things done for people,” de Blasio said. “It’s more than ironic that you asked that question at a press conference where once again crime has gone down.”
Kramer posed the same questions to some New Yorkers.
“He should just show up, absolutely show up and do his job,” said Howard Clark of the Upper West Side. “He shouldn’t get a dime. If he’s not here, he should be docked.”
When asked if she thinks de Blasio should be paid only for the time he works as mayor, Bronx resident Gwen Bonaparte said, “Yes, absolutely, because it is a waste of money. I mean, he should have dropped out a long time ago.”
For the record, the mayor gets paid nearly $260,000 a year. He also gets to live at Gracie Mansion rent free.