Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Outer-Borough Council Members Outraged At City's Handling of Blizzard Clean-up

Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, David G. Greenfield and Stephen Levin are outraged at the City's gross mishandling of its blizzard response and are calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to accept full responsibility for the consequences, including endangering the lives of countless New Yorkers waiting for emergency response vehicles hindered by deplorable street conditions.

Councilman Van Bramer, who represents Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Astoria, and Maspeth in Queens, echoed Councilman Greenfield's sentiment. "I have lived my entire life in Queens, seen many storms, but have never seen so long a period go by where we just haven't seen snow plows clearing the streets," noted Van Bramer. "More than 24 hours after the first snowflakes fell, there are still major roadways in my district that have yet to be plowed. Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City is just one example of a poor response to this storm by this administration. The hardworking people of my district and the entire City deserve better service."

Councilman Greenfield, who represents the Bensonhurst, Boro Park and Midwood sections of Brooklyn, was shocked at the conditions as he walked the streets of his district this afternoon. "I've lived here my entire life," said Greenfield, "and I've never seen the streets this way after a major snowstorm. Here in the outer-boroughs we are used to being the step-children of Manhattan and waiting for available plows, but there are major streets in my district that haven't see a plow at all. Quite frankly, I've never seen such a wholesale failure of government to provide basic services."

The Council Members attribute the extremely hazardous conditions to Mayor Bloomberg's personnel reductions at the Department of Sanitation, which left the Department short 400 sanitation workers.

"I am outraged at the lack of response in the neighborhoods which I represent," said Councilman Levin, who represents Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Greenpoint, and Williamsburg. "It is unacceptable that, a full day after the storm, major avenues throughout my district have yet to see a snow plow. I commend all the DSNY, FDNY, and NYPD workers giving their all out in the snow today, and we are all grateful for their work, but they have not been given enough resources. Clearly, City Hall and the leadership at the Sanitation Department were entirely unprepared for a storm of this magnitude, and we are all paying the price for that now."

All three Council Members expressed their gratitude to the outstanding men and women of the Sanitation Department, NYPD, NYFD and OEM, noting how they selflessly left their own families to serve their communities in extremely hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, their superiors were clearly unprepared for this storm, and left all New Yorkers in a ditch.