2011-02-18 / Editorial/Opinion

At Least, Tell Us The Truth

The least we should expect from our city government is that it tells us the truth. Under the Bloomberg administration, telling the truth is not always a given. It is clear that the NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner, she of the bicycle lanes, lied when she wrote in a letter to the Daily News that there was no opposition to those bicycle lanes in Rockaway until after they were built. The Wave obtained correspondence between Community Board 14 and Queens DOT commissioner Maura McCarthy that shows that the board and civic groups complained that they had real misgivings about the plan a year before critical roads such as Beach Channel Drive were narrowed to one lane with painted lines and bicycle lanes. The DOT is not the only agency that lies to the public, however. A recent report shows that the two Rockaway high schools – Far Rockaway High School, which will close this June, and Beach Channel High School, which will phase out beginning in September – were chosen for closing years ago and then denied vital resources so that they could fulfill the Department of Education’s predictions and be closed. In addition, a report just out this week shows that Far Rockaway High School met its graduation goals and was still closed down. Then, we have the issue of carcinogens in city classrooms. The federal government says that the PCBs in light fixtures are dangerous and must be removed. The city says that they are just fine and cannot be fixed due to budgetary considerations. How about the mayor crowing about muchimproved graduations rates in the face of a report that shows that only 22 percent of those who graduate are ready for either college or a career. Then, just this week, Mayor Bloomberg told the press that he wanted to get rid of the $12,000 yearly “holiday bonuses” now earned by city uniformed workers, knowing full well that the money was not a holiday bonus, but a payoff negotiated by the unions and the city years ago in return for the unions allowing the city to invest its pension funds in the stock market. Lies, all lies. We urge city agencies to tell the truth to city residents. With a 24-hour news cycle, the truth will get out, as it has with reading and mathematics scores and the fact that our potholes are not being filled because the mayor has furloughed workers. The truth will out, the old maxim says, and today, that is the truth.

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