A missive has just arrived at the BHB Blizzard 2010 Newsdesk from our man in the NYC Council Steve Levin. We appreciate his concern about Brooklyn Heights streets being cleared soon. We appreciate even more that this email is an excuse to re-use our totally awesome Photoshopped Levin storm photo:
The last few days have been trying times for residents throughout Brooklyn. I assure you, I share your frustration and outrage at the Department of Sanitation’s inadequate response and the Office of Emergency Management’s dismal performance, and I have been shocked by many of Mayor Bloomberg’s comments throughout this ordeal. Simply put, this has been one of the biggest breakdowns in municipal government in recent memory, and those in charge are going to have some serious explaining to do.
That being said, I have been heartened by our community’s reaction to the snow storm and its aftermath. Since Monday morning, I have been walking the district, from Greenpoint to Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights to Williamsburg, talking to residents, identifying unplowed streets, coordinating with the Department of Sanitation, and helping out where I can. I have seen, countless times, neighbors helping neighbors in need. I have seen the selflessness and common purpose that makes up the fabric of our community. With many streets still unplowed, frustrations could have easily boiled over. Instead, your response has been a testament to the strength and resolve of this community. I have been consistently inspired and I commend you all.
Thank you to those who have reached out to my office to alert me of streets that remained unplowed. My staff and I received over 250 calls and emails from throughout the district. With your help, we have been able to work with the Department of Sanitation to ensure that those streets were cleared as quickly as possible. The Department of Sanitation had hoped to have all streets plowed by Wednesday night, but I am hearing that there are still a few streets that remain unplowed and many others that are still not entirely clear. Please continue to report streets in need of plowing by emailing me directly at email@example.com or my Chief of Staff, Ashley Thompson, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be around and available all weekend.
In the greatest city in the world, it is unacceptable that, days after the snow had stopped falling, streets were not plowed. By last Saturday evening, weather reports indicated that New York would be affected by the on-coming storm. It is unfathomable that, even with advance notice, the City was unable to create and execute a plan to deal with the snow. Snow removal equipment should have been in place and sanitation workers should have been ready to be deployed. The situation we found ourselves in—streets unplowed for days, emergency vehicles unable to reach critical patients, seniors and disabled individuals isolated from street access for far too long—is simply unacceptable and should never happen again.
As you may have heard, the City Council has scheduled a hearing at 11am on Monday, January 10th at 49-51 Chambers Street to evaluate the City’s response to the storm. As I prepare for the hearing, I would like to hear about your experiences and what you think the City could have done better. While Mayor Bloomberg cannot undo what has already happened, I hope that the Mayor will take the feedback from the hearing seriously so that the City never repeats these mistakes.
Thank you again for your cooperation and patience throughout the week. Have a safe and happy new year.