In the world of entertainment that means self-congratulating awards shows like the Grammys, Emmys, and, of course, the Oscars.
And let's not forget about the Tony Awards. How else would we know which city agency or commissioner was far and above the best of 2017?
Oh, did you think we were talking about the “other” Tony Awards, the statues that are handed out to the best Broadway shows and musicals? No, we are talking about the real “Tonys,” as in State Senator Tony Avella's assessment of how city agencies and their commissioners did during 2017.
And unlike those other awards shows, Avella isn't afraid to call out the losers as well as the winners, although he is sure to point out the assessment only applies to leadership, not the rank-and-file members of each department.
How about we start at the bottom?
The Department of Buildings, Parks Department, Department of Environmental Conservation, human Resources Administration, Department of Homeless Services and Department of Consumer Affairs all receive an F grade. Here's some of Avella's comments:
• Parks: “DPR’s handling of the trees and sidewalks repair program, lack of park maintenance, and their total inability to do capital construction is what secured this failing grade for DPR. Add all that up and include the fact that an absentee landlord serves as Parks Commissioner and you have the perfect recipe for one of the worst agencies.”
• DHS: “This F needs no explanation.”
• DCA: "Totally worthless."
That's pretty rough, but we had an unprecedented grade in this year's Tony Awards, as Mayor Bill de Blasio and his office didn't just get an F, but they received the highly unusual Double F.
“In the four years that Mayor de Blasio has been in office, he and his office have been absolutely non-responsive. The Mayor has yet to send a personal response to the Senator or even acknowledge most issues that Queens residents raise on a daily basis,” Avella explained.
Let's move on to some more positive grades. The NYPD, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Finance, and Department of Health all received a C grade.
• DEP: “DEP has shown willingness to compromise on their bioswales program in order to meet the needs of the community but their failure to provide a full opt-out has left the community and Senator Avella with a bad taste in their mouths. Additionally, DEP’s responsiveness is still below par.”
• NYPD: “The NYPD lands here because of their less than stellar handling of quality of life issues in the City. Although they do respond to most complaints, they usually lack a formal response.”
• DOH: “Serious lack of timely responses gets them a C.”
Enough with these losers, though, how about we move on to the winners in the 2017 Tony Awards.
The FDNY, Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, Housing Preservation and Development, Department of Agriculture and Markets, and Department of Sanitation all received grades of A for their work over the past year.
• FDNY: FDNY is very responsive in terms of constituent issues even on issues where they would not necessarily have jurisdiction.
And while Avella gave a tough grade to his BFF (Best Double-F) de Blasio, the mayor has to be smarting over Avella's last grade of A for 2017: de Blasio #1 frenemy Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Governor's Office.
There is no explanation from Avella on what the governor did to receive the highest honor the Academy of State Senator Tony Avella can bestow on a member of government, but apparently the work the governor did over the past year was of the highest caliber.
Maybe the mayor can take solace in the fact the governor didn't get a Double A.