**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
January 18, 2011
Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis at (212) 788-7081
Council Members Letitia James, James Oddo, and Deborah Rose Respond To DSNY Commissioners, Supervisors Absence At Public Hearings
Urge DSNY to Communicate With Public About Circumstances Surrounding December Blizzard
New York, NY— On January 18, 2011, the New York City Council will hold the first in a number of borough-wide community hearings to discuss the December 26, 2010 snow blizzard. Today’s hearing will take place in Staten Island, NY.
These community hearings follow the New York City Council’s closed hearings on January 10, 2011 at which Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, as well as the commissioners from the Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, the Office of Emergency Management and Fire testified. The administration has elected not to send agency commissioners or supervisors to today’s hearing, and will send community affairs representatives to represent the Department of Sanitation (DSNY).
Council Member James, who chairs the Council’s Sanitation Committee, has been vocal about the December blizzard and the poor service to the outer-boroughs in comparison to Manhattan. It is of particular importance that officials from DSNY be present at these community hearings to communicate to the public the agency’s updated protocol for handling storms and weather emergencies.
“The department has made positive changes to ensure that Brooklyn and the outer boroughs aren’t ignored during future weather emergencies,” said Council Member Letitia James. “Both the commissioner and superintendents should be at the hearings to present these changes to the community. It is unacceptable to not afford the people of the City of New York the respect of a direct dialogue.”
“This isn't as much an insult to me as a Council Member as much as it is a display of limitless arrogance and disrespect to the people of Staten Island. Too bad every year isn't an election year,” said Minority Leader James Oddo (Staten Island)
“The Mayor’s decision not to send any commissioners or supervisors to the sanitation hearings in the outer boroughs is really the height of arrogance,” said Council Member Deborah Rose (Staten Island). “ Staten Islanders unnecessarily endured several days of chaos due to the ineptitude of the Administration, but the Mayor will not send those responsible to face the public for even a few hours. How can anyone say that the Administration is responsive to the needs of the people, when it refuses to even meet with them? Residents of the outer boroughs deserve better.”
The community hearings will take place in each borough throughout this week.