Saturday, April 9, 2011

Speaker Quinn Plays a Tune: Three Blind Mice

After all of the furor over the mayor's snow removal debacle last winter-and all of the hue and cry posturing from the city council-the legislature has finally come up with its response, and to say it is underwhelming is being charitable. We'll let the NY Post tell it like it is:

"The City Council passed a flurry of bills last week to revamp emergency services and snow removal in the wake of the disastrous Dec. 26 blizzard. "We are taking these aggressive actions to make sure that something like this never happens again," said Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Well, maybe. One bill makes it easier for citizens to volunteer during a crisis. Another calls for 311 to be revamped. And city agencies must now update and publish their snow-removal plans.

But the legislation says nothing about missing mayors. Mayor Bloomberg was out of town when the snow began falling. Nobody had been left in charge. Agency chiefs were in disarray. The rest, as they say, is history."

Some great oversight, no? What could Quinn possibly be afraid of? The Post answers: "Serious legislation would have required the establishment of a clear chain of command when the mayor leaves town. But Bloomberg won't abide that -- and the council flinched. Well, the mayor has his right to privacy. But he left a leadership vacuum before the blizzard -- and the council, contrary to Quinn, refused to ensure that such a thing "never happens again." Failure piled upon failure. What a pity."

Not a pity in our view, but an outrage. This is what passes for oversight in Quinn's council-a whitewash of a winter white out masquerading as a serious response. Which, ironically, makes all of us at the Iron Triangle actually feel a little better.

After all, when we asked that the council conduct an oversight over the attempt by EDC to violate all previous development protocols at Willets Point, we were turned down flat by Quinn, et al. But if Quinn lacks the integrity to conduct a proper oversight of managerial malfeasance that led to people dying, who are we to complain about the council's unwillingness to oversee the EDC scam at Willets Point?.

And the phrase, "Quinn lacks the integrity," has a nice ring to us. That's because the word lack has the same root as lackey-an epithet that surely fits a council speaker that gives the mayor's ultimate no show a legislative free pass.