NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s the next big hurdle for Mayor Bill de Blasio: What to do if the summer of COVID-19 is long, hot and sweaty?

Right now there’s no plan and one top official is warning it could lead to a dramatic spike in crime, reports CBS2’s political reporter Marcia Kramer.

De Blasio has closed public pools to save money and is refusing to open public beaches, leaving people young and old living in crowded apartments and NYCHA developments with no air conditioning, all wondering how they’ll cope with the heatwave.

MORE: New York City Nixes Parades, Concerts And Rallies Through May

Kramer put to the question to the mayor on Friday.

“So OK, thank God it is April 17th so we have some time to plan, but this is exactly the kind of thing we’re going to be going into planning mode on now.”

Translation: The city has no plans, but now has plans to make plans.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain, says it’s important to get on the stick.

“We need to get it done now,” said Adams. “There must be a summer youth alternative plan. If you don’t, you’re creating an environment where you can have a potential uptick in violent situations in many of these communities.”

The borough president has lots of suggestions:

  • Fix the outdoor sprinkler systems in playgrounds, especially at public housing projects.
  • Figure out a way to open up fire hydrants with social distancing.
  • See if youth organizations like the Police Athletic League can develop programs.
  • Open the beaches, creating a zone system for social distancing.

“Going to a free beach – Jones Beach, Coney Island Beach, Rockaway Beach – going to a pool, this is not just a recreational activity,” said Adam. “This alleviates the stress of being in close confinement with large numbers of people.”

Kramer asked the mayor if he would open the pools if a private donor gave him the $12 million it would cost. He shot it down.

“If there’s something that defines getting together in a small space and lots of dives into the pools – huge number of people crammed together, there’s lines, there’s everything you don’t want – the pools don’t make sense,” said de Blasio.

Closing the beaches also put the mayor on a collision course with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said he’s the guy with the power to do that and it has to be done in coordination with other places such as communities in Long Island and even other states.

Comments

Leave a Reply