What’s a Sanbot?
a. a miniature PB&J sandwich robot
b. a 6” heel woman’s shoe style
c. the URL for the Jarrett Meeker Foundation
d. a garbage truck driver in Flatbush
e. all of the above
Letter e. became the right answer when NYC Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith — the famous “Missing Man” of the 2010 Blizzard — designated BK14 (Flatbush-Midwood) as the pilot district for garbage truck-tracking by GPS. Continue reading
The San Men were played like cheap guitars.
Bloomberg and Goldsmith are very smart — no one denies that. They surely were smart enough to know that staff reductions and the October edict demoting 100 Sanitation supervisors would provoke a DSNY job action —formal or not — at the winter’s first big snow storm.
As predictable as worker backlash was, so was the anger that many New Yorkers are feeling today.
Is there anyone out there naïve enough to believe the Bloomberg crew didn’t expect both of these responses?
Who, then, do we hold responsible for how the blizzard was handled?
The instruments, or the musicians?
And what’s the tune?
Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith
Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith said today that “we’re 30 days away” from giving community boards “real-time 311 data,” but that he would have to confirm this.
He made his comment in response to a question by Councilmember Gale Brewer at today’s City Council hearings on the Blizzard of 2010.
But a Brooklyn community board district manager who has seen a prototype of the system cautions that the 311 data will not be what the boards had requested.
Despite some incisive questioning, especially by Councilmember Jumaane Williams (45CD), the mayor’s representatives toughed it out and protected Bloomberg by saying that they, not he, had made the crucial decisions.
Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty
But when it came time to specify which managers had made which decisions, no one took responsibility. Goldsmith called himself a “coordinator” who had left it to commissioners John Doherty (DSNY) and Joe Bruno (OEM) to make the critical operational calls. They said the decision-making scenario was a group process.
No one admitted City Hall had erred in delaying declaration of a snow emergency.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s political operatives are working in Albany on their real agenda: gutting the civil service merit system.
Stephen Goldsmith and Michael Bloomberg photo: City Limits
“Let’s remember what we really want. This is about getting rid of civil service. It’s my last term. No one can hurt me. We’ve already lined up our media friends. By next year, all anyone will remember is that the San Men pulled a slow-down and we instituted measures to prevent that from happening again.”
“But Mr. Mayor, what about our decision not to declare a snow emergency?”
“I was out of town. Goldsmith was in D.C. They’ll beat us up mercilessly about it, but we’ll just tough it out, the way we did with Cathie Black’s appointment. When we’re ready, we’ll admit some errors.”
“Everyone will blame John and Joe anyway. They won’t talk. No one knows who said what. We’ve already thrown in EMS. And the Federal investigation will muzzle the union. All they can say is, ‘We can’t comment on that now. It’s part of a criminal inquiry.’ We can use the same excuse until we’re ready to go public. By the time the press figures things out, we’ll have what we need from Albany.” Continue reading
John J. Doherty
Mike Bloomberg said that budget had nothing to do with the screw-up. He also avoided admitting any management errors — even his own, when he hamstrung veteran Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty. He placed Doherty under the control of a new deputy mayor whose nominal assignment — operations — took a back seat to his obligation to trim the budget. Continue reading
A September 19 piece in the NY Post reports that Transportation Commissioner Janet Sadik-Khan and Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith got into a tiff over Sadik-Khan’s aggressive promotion of bicycle lanes throughout New York City.
The Post then noted that Sadik-Khan now reports jointly to Goldsmith and to Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel. Continue reading
Mike Bloomberg's Press Conference
Martha K. Hirst has headed up DCAS, the city agency responsible for leasing office space, since Michael Bloomberg took office. So when one of our readers suggested we look at a recent Daily News article that said that new Bloomberg deputy mayor and efficiency expert Stephen Goldsmith had identified 10,000 unused office spaces rented by City Hall, and was proposing getting rid of them to save bucks, we eventually Googled on Martha’s name.
We discovered that Hirst was out, replaced by Acting Commissioner Donald P. Brosen, with only a brief announcement by City Hall on July 14. Continue reading
Stephen Goldsmith at Crain's Breakfast Forum
Contrast the two available videos that show deputy mayor Stephen Goldsmith’s response at the July 20 Crain’s Breakfast Forum to a question by Erik Engquist. Engquist asked Goldsmith what City Hall plans to do to close those fire houses that, according to Engquist, “don’t contribute to safety.”
We watched both versions: a tightly-edited professional video on the Crain’s New York Business website, and a longer, hand-held, and presumably unedited video, posted by reader Louis Flores. It showed that Crain’s skips some of the more controversial issues Goldsmith touched on. Continue reading
Unlike some previous Bloomberg appointees, Stephen Goldsmith, Bloomberg’s newly-announced deputy mayor and chief operating officer, comes with a well-documented track record — one that won’t necessarily please NYC’s municipal unions.
Goldsmith’s appointment last week drew the attention of several media outlets in Indianapolis, where he served as mayor between 1992 and 1999. There, he earned a reputation for privatizing city services and cutting costs, which he parlayed into a senior domestic policy advisor’s position with George W. Bush’s campaign. Among the services delivered by private companies during Goldsmith’s Indianapolis stint were the city’s car-towing operations, golf courses, sewer-bill collections, and document copying. Continue reading