Remember that time the city got sacked by a huge blizzard a few years back and the streets never got plowed and it was a huge headache, especially for outer borough residents who rely on driving to get around? And do you recall that to top it all off, reports started to surface that Mayor Michael Bloomberg wasn't even in New York City to handle the crisis, but instead working on his tan in Bermuda while the rest of us trudged through the cold and snow drifts taller than middle schoolers trying to figure out a way to get around the city?
Well, our new mayor is getting his own lesson in the demands of the job just a short half-year into his tenure. Although, we're not sure he's taking much away from it.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is all set to head to Italy with his family for a little nine-day R&R this Friday. It also looks increasingly like the union that represents the workers on the LIRR are going to instruct their members to walk off the job, perhaps as early as 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning.
If the workers do strike, it's going to cause mayhem Monday morning for the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the train to commute to jobs in the city and beyond. It could mean deadlock on city streets, as people who normally commute by train will be forced into vehicles. And those who don't want to drive all the way into the city and pay outrageous parking fees will be setting up makeshift park-and-ride lots on neighborhood streets near popular subway stops.
It's going to stink for de Blasio, who will be forced to cut his vacay short just days after he arrives in Italy, returning back to the city to manage the crisis, right?
Not so fast!
De Blasio is adopting the Alfred P. Neuman attitude – “What, Me Worry?” - and won't commit to postponing his European holiday if the LIRR workers do indeed go on strike. His reasoning? Because like himself, so many people are going to be traipsing across Europe or enjoying themselves on some Mexican beach or just relaxing in a cabin off in the woods that really there won't be that many people who even need the trains.
“I think what you’re going to find is a lot of people stay home, and a lot of people are away anyway, and the effect will be quite manageable,” de Blasio was quoted as saying.
See, goslings, that's why he's the mayor. We'll all just leave the city or sit at home until this whole labor thingie straightens itself out. Problem solved!
Jeez, and we thought Bloomberg was an out-of-touch elitist! De Blasio has the attitude down, even if he doesn't have the billions to go with it.
Incidentally, de Blasio's sojourn will be the longest trip a New York City mayor has even taken since a vacation that Koch enjoyed at the end of his last term.
So while de Blasio is gone, Deputy Mayor Tom Shorris will be calling the shots, although we're not sure if he will get to sleep in the mayor's jammies in Gracie Mansion for those nine day. We assume that how they handle that situation is spelled out very clearly in the City Charter somewhere.
You know what else is spelled out very clearly in the City Charter? If the mayor of New York is out of the city for ten days or more, control of city government can be handed over to the public advocate.
That's right goslings, if the mayor's return flight home were to be cancelled or delayed by some unfortunate weather system, we could be looking at Mayor Letitia James!