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) Photo Credit: AP

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Ellis Henican Newsday columnist Ellis Henican

Henican is a columnist for Newsday. He also is a political analyst at the Fox News Channel and ...

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.

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.

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1. Utility-bill bonfires