From the NY Post:
...when a mayoralty comes to be defined by fanciful notions -- political labels, bike paths, french fries and other irrelevancies -- forgiveness following catastrophe will be a long time coming.
Especially when the mayor's reaction to the debacle ranges from surly condescension to bewildered resentment to transparently feigned contrition.
Actually, there's scant evidence that Mike Bloomberg even now knows what hit him -- apart from 20-plus inches of snow, of course.
And the sanitation slowdown. Wildcat strike would be too strong a term -- wild kitten, maybe. But, still, the mayor couldn't cope. The truth is that while Mike Bloomberg was off trash talking Democratic/Republican rancor, he lost control of the New York City Department of Sanitation.
Snowstorms are among that department's responsibilities -- and it hasn't been so overmatched by Mother Nature since John V. Lindsay was mayor.
There was a spectacular failure of field leadership last week. Supervisors couldn't -- some just wouldn't -- put down spot mutinies all over Brooklyn and Queens. The results were lethal.
From the NY Post:
It is said that once a man be comes a bishop, he never again hears the truth or eats a bad meal. Imagine, then, the pampered life of the Emperor of Bloomstan.
To understand how King Mike could deny the snow truth that all New Yorkers could see, you first must understand his golden bubble. It's not just the weekend trips to warmer climes, or the routine comforts of a multibillionaire with homes here and there.
It's that he surrounds himself with yes men and women. They don't dare bring him bad news. They know he doesn't want to hear it.
The mayor himself is the problem, and it won't be fixed until he decides to fix it. To save the city and his reputation, he's got to get his head back into the job.
So far, there is zero evidence he will. His performance last week was distressingly shoddy. The failure to competently manage the Sanitation Department was only the tip of the blizzard.
The greater failure was to understand and manage public expectations. His reaction to the criticism was a microcosm of the worst moments of his tenure. The tone-deaf elitist, the haughty rich guy who oozes contempt for anybody who challenges him -- all of it captured on the X-ray cameras of television.
Imagine being the deputy mayor or lesser aide who knows that New Yorkers are rightfully furious. After the mayor's public lashing of critics, few are the brave souls willing to tell him the truth and risk a blow-up or banishment.
He bought the third term not because he wanted it, but because it was the best job on the market. He wanted to run for president but didn't have the courage to try.
Now he and New York are stuck with each other, but we're not really in it together. Emotionally and mentally, he has checked out. The job is beneath him now.
So New York burns while he fiddles. The signs of imperiousness are everywhere.
The CityTime scandal, an $80 million rip-off, was just another day at the office for him. Bike lanes proliferate even though nobody except a few zealots want them.
Commissioners in health and transportation brazenly fudge facts to sell his pet projects. Land-use rules are manipulated to justify sweetheart deals to favored contractors, such as the whopping homeless shelter on West 25th Street.
The only hope is for a course correction at the top. And New Year's is the perfect time for a new beginning. But even kings can't merely wish a change. They must commit to it and work at it, all day and every day.
So which is it, Mayor Mike? Are you in or out?
From the Daily News:
He does talk a great game and some of his innovations are actually innovative and even necessary, particularly in an ongoing financial crisis.
Too bad he is so taken with himself and his own brilliance that he is too often blinded by the spotlight he perpetually shines on himself.
Here is what Goldsmith said back in October, when he announced a plan to demote 100 sanitation supervisors so the city could hire 100 new sanitation workers.
"A win-win for everybody!"
Everybody clearly not including those 100 supervisors who were still on the job during the storm.
That may not have been a primary cause of the city's failure in the face of the blizzard, but it sure did not help. And a guy who was in the midst of reinventing the department should have at least been there.
What we got was a lose-lose for everybody, most particularly for those who lost their lives.
In his last tweet of 2010, Goldsmith said: "We want your feedback on City's snow response. Tweet to me w/thoughts on what went wrong & how we can do better next time."
As Eminem would say, the next time, there should be no next time. Let this tweeting Nero go back to Washington, where he fits right in.