De Blasio team doesn't trip on same stone

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference in the Queens borough of New York. (Jan. 3, 2014) (Credit: AP)

Ellis Henican

Newsday columnist Ellis Henican Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a

bio | email

Bill de Blasio passed his very first test as mayor of New York City. Most of the snow was plowed from most of the streets before most of the people got totally fed up, which is about the best you can hope for with a new mayor and snowstorm No. 1.

Then again, give credit where due. It was Michael Bloomberg's sanitation commissioner, John Doherty, who directed the 4,600-strong salt-and-plow army. The city's progressive new mayor hadn't gotten around to naming his own garbage-and-snow boss.

De Blasio built his winning campaign on "A Tale of Two Cities," the gaping divide between the Bloomberg-coddled haves and the struggling have-less. The new mayor produced a New Year's inaugural that quickly devolved into a bash-Bloomberg fest.


PHOTOS: Bill de Blasio | NYC mayors


The old guy sat stone-faced on the City Hall steps. But his emergency-management commissioner (Joe Bruno) and his fire commissioner (Sal Cassano) and his sanitation commissioner were still at their posts.

Bloomberg's folks learned their snowstorms the hard way when a blizzard dumped 20 inches in December 2010. For three solid days, much of that snow just sat there. Even Bloomberg conceded the response was "inadequate and unacceptable." De Blasio was public advocate at the time.

Change can be refreshing, no doubt. Twelve years is long for any mayor to last. But sometimes there's still no substitute for people who know what to do.

COLD COMFORT

1. Utility-bill bonfires

2. Tell the neighbor kids, "Shoveling is fun."

3. Snuggle-up pajama parties

4. What's wrong with holiday gut flab?

5. Christmas sweaters aren't ugly -- they're warm

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: With Suffolk County's "living wage" now pegged at $13.37 an hour, some local guidance, please: Where in Suffolk can a family live on $13.37 an hour? . . . Only 822 PSEG LI customers lost power at the peak of Thursday night's "big fluff factor" storm? A stiff summer breeze causes more LI outages than that! . . . Who you callin' a rabble-rouser? Actually, it's considered a compliment at the Heckscher Museum, where 25 artists were honored to be included in "Rabble-Rousers: Art, Dissent and Social Commentary" . . . Who made off with the historic potbelly stove from the Roslyn train station? LIRR historian Dave Morrison wants it back . . . Has the well-wired Desmond Ryan really been lobbying Albany for 40 years? His LI clients would like another 40, please . . . Does Dan Rattiner understand that making up an outlandish story isn't the same as sharp social satire? After his Dan's Paper scoop "Lions Released to Deal with Hamptons Deer Problem," no one's comparing Dan to Jonathan Swift, least of all the harried Southampton police . . . How did the "smart" snowplows do? Any better than the dumb snow drivers? . . . Should the Manhasset Park District go ahead and change its name to Manhasset Parking District? The agency, which already operates six parking lots with 748 spaces, now plans to demolish a colonial home at Locust Street for 16 more . . . When will Pat Vecchio announce his re-election plans? The 83-year-old Smithtown supervisor was sworn in New Year's Day to his 13th term -- and counting?

 

THE NEWS IN SONG: I listen to the weather, and he's changed his tone of voice: Galaxie 500's "Snowstorm,"

tinyurl.com/letitstorm

LONG ISLANDERS OF THE WEEK:

JEFFERSON'S FERRY EMPLOYEES

Good luck prying a Christmas bonus from most workers' hands. Yet 200 employees at Jefferson's Ferry retirement community in South Setauket donated their holiday bonuses and tips to Typhoon Haiyan relief in the Philippines, delivering a $10,000 check to the American Red Cross. Many, though not all, had friends or relatives on the ravaged Pacific islands. But the giving got so contagious, execs and board members even kicked in. It was a storm of generosity.

Email ellis@henican.com

Follow on Twitter @henican