STATEMENT BY SENATE PRESIDENT PRO-TEMPORE MALCOLM A. SMITH RE: Inadequate Preparation and Response to Blizzard of 2010

Malcolm A. Smith

December 29, 2010

"The Bloomberg administration needs to explain whether its poor response to the blizzard of 2010 is a result of ‘penny-wise and pound foolish’ budgeting or simply a case of snow blindness. It should have learned from the experience of Mayor Lindsay, yet the administration was woefully unprepared for the storm.  
Major thoroughfares have still not been plowed forty-eight hours after snow began falling – and 96 hours since forecasters predicted a major storm would strike.  Linden Boulevard looks more like southeast Alaska than southeast Queens. 
To say that the city is “going fine” displays willful ignorance of the vast reaches of the city that depend on surface transportation and remain paralyzed. Hundreds of buses remain stranded and subway service is still crippled.  The failure to clear bus routes and train tracks is more than a minor inconvenience. It has a direct economic impact on business and city revenues.  This is the second day that people have been unable to leave their homes and the blocks they live on.  Residents cannot get to work and customers cannot get to stores, though all still have to pay rent and taxes even when the snowplows do not come.  
In consultation with my colleagues Senator Shirley Huntley, Assemblywoman Barbara Clark and Assemblyman William Scarborough, we agree that the city’s response to the blizzard is inadequate and unacceptable. 
We commend the City Council for holding hearings into the inadequate response by the administration.  We must make certain that this matter is thoroughly investigated so it may be prevented in future emergencies. "
Shown in photo: Former Councilman Archie Spigner and the Brown family of St. Albans joined Senator Smith at a  press conference held earlier today on the inadequate response to the blizzard.


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