2014-04-04 / Editorial/Opinion

A Tale Of Two Reps

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Chuck Schumer came to Rockaway last Saturday to talk about Build It Back and Sandy recovery. It was a tale of two representatives.

The Senator knew what was going on. The mayor said he did.

Curious how this press conference came about. The mayor said, “We feel profound urgency” in helping Sandy victims. He introduced three new people, all with impressive resumes, to spearhead the various efforts.

Well, it strikes us that this profound urgency is a new thing and comes after a visit from Chuck Schumer who said he went to City Hall and said to the mayor, “We’ve got to talk about Sandy. We’ve got to change the system. Things are working on Long Island. You can’t blame the federal bureaucracy.” Schumer then said, “The mayor listens. He understood. He resolved to make it right”

So we’re not crazy. We’ve been yelling for this mayor to get moving, to get a clue. And now it seems he’ll do so thanks to the urging of a Senator who was just as sick of the excuses as the rest of us. We’ll see.

So far, there’s little reason to put faith in what the mayor says. Even with Schumer saying otherwise, the mayor tried saying a lot of the problems with getting help to people was because of the federal bureaucracy. Yet, out of the other side of his mouth he gushed about Secretary of HUD, Shaun Donovan, a New Yorker who is the top federal guy in charge of Sandy recovery.

In his remarks, de Blasio offered the usual bromides: “Seventeen months is too long.” “Further delay is not acceptable.” “There was too much red tape.”

Yes, we know. And you should have known. You were the Public Advocate! Were you advocating for the public suffering after Sandy, were you doing your job? Weren’t you aware of the red tape nightmare? You shouldn’t have arrived at City Hall without a sense of urgency.

The mayor dropped the old Harry Truman line: “The buck stops here.” And then he said, “It’s a new beginning.”

Maybe the new beginning will mean something with Amy Peterson, one of his new appointees. She said “Every day matters in the lives of people who have been hurt.” Exactly. Let’s hope her perspective leaks into the mayor’s office.

And we’ve got one other hope. The mayor said, “In about two weeks time we’ll be announcing some new measures” to help Sandy victims.

We hope Chuck Schumer doesn’t have to remind him.

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"Profound urgency" - is he

"Profound urgency" - is he kidding? Urgency means the situation needs taking care of right away - not 17 months later - criminal and abusive is the system that our representatives have been presiding over - people still need help, for sure - but if they are still alive, living somewhere, it's because they've managed to survive on their own resources - these officials have FAILED the urgency test.

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