Where Were You, Mr. Mayor?
The weather wasn’t perfect, the beaches are still not as aesthetically “rebuilt” as let’s say, the Jersey Shore, and the press conference spread was only chips and dip. Maybe that’s why the Mayor of New York City skipped the opening of the beach in Rockaway.
Or perhaps he was concerned that his presence would mar an otherwise upbeat day. Maybe, he thought, folks who have been waiting for months and months for some Build It Back cash to repair their homes and businesses would be angry and boo?
The last time Mr. de Blasio was in Rockaway, he said he would “accelerate” the process for doling out BIB funds. Yet, residents still see their homes and community in disrepair for the second summer since Superstorm Sandy. Maybe that’s why he stayed away.
When his comptroller came to town to talk Sandy relief last week, folks filled the room and were not only respectful of the NYC money manager, but some even expressed optimism. There’s wasn’t even a single boo or hiss. Surely Mr. Stringer must have communicated that reality to his boss.
Still, Mr. de Blasio stayed home.
Last week, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder – who got the biggest hand of the press conference at the Beach 86th Street – was working hard to get a Sandy Property Tax Abatement bill passed. Both the Assembly and State Senate passed the measure, and on Thursday, the Governor signed it into law. One wonders if de Blasio was waiting for a Kodak moment like that to come back to the beach.
Rockaway is waiting, Mr. Mayor. They want their homes back. They want their businesses back, and they want their boardwalk back. Even if you aren’t ready to face the music, Mr. Mayor, it’s time to do so.