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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Was Inaction And Incompetence For New York Blizzard Response Deliberate By Union Supervisors?

The New York Post reports an alarming turn of events in the slow cleanup and apparent incompetence on the part of New York Officials regarding the slow cleanup and chaos resulting from the holiday blizzard.

The blame game has started with city officials pointing the finger elsewhere and reports of miscalculations and mistakes being made all around, but the Post piece indicates that deliberate orders were given by sanitation officials and supervisors to deliberately slow down the cleanup effort.

Selfish Sanitation Department bosses from the snow-slammed outer boroughs ordered their drivers to snarl the blizzard cleanup to protest budget cuts -- a disastrous move that turned streets into a minefield for emergency-services vehicles, The Post has learned.

Miles of roads stretching from as north as Whitestone, Queens, to the south shore of Staten Island still remained treacherously unplowed last night because of the shameless job action, several sources and a city lawmaker said, which was over a raft of demotions, attrition and budget cuts.

"They sent a message to the rest of the city that these particular labor issues are more important," said City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens), who was visited yesterday by a group of guilt-ridden sanitation workers who confessed the shameless plot.

Halloran said he met with three plow workers from the Sanitation Department -- and two Department of Transportation supervisors who were on loan -- at his office after he was flooded with irate calls from constituents.

The snitches "didn't want to be identified because they were afraid of retaliation," Halloran said. "They were told [by supervisors] to take off routes [and] not do the plowing of some of the major arteries in a timely manner. They were told to make the mayor pay for the layoffs, the reductions in rank for the supervisors, shrinking the rolls of the rank-and-file."

New York's Strongest used a variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process -- and pad overtime checks -- which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes, the sources said.

The snow-removal snitches said they were told to keep their plows off most streets and to wait for orders before attacking the accumulating piles of snow.

Two page piece and much more information if you go read the entire thing but it has brought about some very serious questions.

First and foremost, is it true?

No doubt the quotes from Halloran are true and possibly even his word that this was the information given to him from those fearing reprisal.

Did officials/supervisors from the Sanitation Department give orders to slow the snow removal? That needs to be investigated.

If an investigation proves those assertions true, then another larger question comes into play, as asked by Aaron Worthing at Patterico's Pontifications, in regards to a baby that died after child birth when the mother was forced to deliver in a Brooklyn building and not having any help arrive to her for nine hours after the 911 call went out for help because "no one could get to her"?.

Worthing asks "If True, How is This Not Criminally Negligent Homicide?"

A three page New York Times' article describes the timeline of events and from it many will see mistakes made on the part of city officials as well as transit and sanitation officials, but mistakes happen and sometimes they do have tragic results.

If any of those so-called mistakes were made deliberately though, then the whole basis for the negligent homicide question comes into play.

This should not be investigated internally nor by the state, this should definitely be investigated by objective outside parties not looking to lay blame elsewhere so it will not reflect on them.

A federal investigation is in order.

A five minute video below of citizens dealing with the cleanup and aftereffects of the blizzard. This doesn't deal with the questions asked above but the video does show a great visual of the massive mess Mother Nature left behind for New Yorkers.