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Gotham City Hill Politics

Gotham City Hill: The Tale Of Two Mayors

Gotham City Hill: The Tale Of Two Mayors
Long Island Expressway in New York City shut down due to flash flooding from Post-Tropical Storm Ida’s landfall.
Image by Tommy Gao

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Guest post by Steve Loeb

How much does NYC mayoral candidate Eric Adams actually know about storms sewers and flooding ? No one knows because Adams hasn’t said a thing since Hurricane Ida overwhelmed our city’s underground infrastructure.

I’ll tell you who does know- “Mayor Curtis” a moniker more and more New Yorker’s are already using referring to candidate Curtis Sliwa our city’s Guardian Angel who like a real superhero is now spotted throughout the city all day everyday and seems to be a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

Sliwa’s interest in sewers and storm drains has me hanging on his every syllable. His is the only voice. He’s even publicly invited current Democrat Mayor DeBlasio and candidate Adams to accompany him into the sewers to show them the problems. But I wouldn’t hold my breath that those two would ever show.

Meanwhile my own ground floor Brooklyn apartment like so many in the Boroughs was flooded by Ida. Friends said – “Ida was just the beginning, a superstorm, and why we need the “Green New Deal” but Sliwa continues to ask if it’s just not time to consider bringing back the city sewer maintenance crews that were cut many many years ago?

Why did the city cut its regular sewer maintenance in the first place? They must have given those who suffer most from flooding, the homeowners in the outer Boroughs, a decent reason?

And here’s where the issue of single party government rears its ugly head – a subject of another column I did here.

Let’s say our Mayor gets an idea for a program and needs a few million dollars. In a city with a loyal opposition, a request like that would then be studied, priced, debated and likely if the idea itself was reasonable, approved and the funds appropriated. Or, if the idea was without merit to a council majority, is then tabled and may or may not be brought up again at a later date. But with single party government it’s usually just a formality getting the idea rubber stamped by fellow party council members and funded. Few would question the Mayor’s request. After all, everyone is fully aware of the risks taken when challenging the “boss” or the possible rewards for greasing the skids ie translation- “finding the money by cutting a service deemed politically “unimportant”

Does everyone see how a city can fall so quickly with single party rule because critical services can be eliminated with little forethought or debate?

No question that the rain was extremely heavy that night but I’m now more interested in the current condition of the city storm drains and sewers then ever. Why? Because with regular maintenance again, maybe we can mitigate flood damage done by the next superstorm. How many might still have their property intact, or all their sentimental items still safe and dry? And of course, not have to worry about skyrocketing flood insurance.

But at least many here are becoming accustomed to living in a city with it’s own badly needed red beret superhero patrolling our streets and from the looks of the many smiles and fist bumps upon spotting “Mayor Curtis” – New Yorkers are already loving it.

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