The severe winter conditions and the never ending snowstorms and frigid weather has had a toll not only on the mayor but also the 75-year old Sanitation Commissioner, John Doherty, who is faced with an unexpected, end-of-career test, and perhaps a final chance at a snowy form of redemption.
John J. Doherty is New York’s longest-serving sanitation commissioner, with decades of blizzards under his belt. But the past moth was the toughest of all, standing out as a punchbag for those who are testing Mayor de Blasio’s job performance and the mayor’s office seeking to satisfy Bloomberg’s snow victim.
“Mr. Doherty is the butt of criticism, facing the usual snowstorm complaints about sluggishness and poor preparation, along with a few novel accusations, such as plowing poorer neighborhoods before wealthier ones,” the NY Times wrote Wednesday evening.
“On Wednesday, after battling the latest mix of ice and sleet to afflict his city, Mr. Doherty stood stern-faced at a news conference as another nuisance, a potential salt shortage, was raised by reporters. When it came time for Mr. de Blasio to thank his team, the commissioner’s name went conspicuously unmentioned,” the NY Times reporter noted.
Although mayor de Blasio initially announced he’s keeping Doherty just for a couple of months until the winter season is over, the mayor seemed annoyed Thursday by the reporting.
In a Chris Christie style moment, looking testy, mayor de Blasio repudiated the charge and scolded the press for noting any tension between the mayor and the commissioner.
“The story in the New York times today was patently inaccurate and unfair,” Mayor de Blasio angrily said at a press conference in the Bronx Thursday afternoon, holding up a card which had the names of those who attended the press conference in City Hall on Wednesday. “I have Immense respect for John Doherty. I asked John Doherty to stay on to help this city. I think it was a selfless act on his part. He did not need to stick around. I said ‘would you stick around and help us deal with an oncoming snow season?’ That’s not a fun and easy job. He has served with great distinction for many years and continues to.”
The mayor turned directly to the City hall press corps in the room, schooling the reporters in the room to do a better job in reporting of the new administration. “We all will have our moments along the way my dear friends. We will have our agreements and disagreements. But I do ask you for accuracy,” he said. “Don’t tell me what I said and didn’t say in a case like this.”
“I acknowledged John Doherty up front in that press conference. I praised the work of all the agencies present. And
I do respect him … Any effort to put down a good public servant who is doing his job with inaccurate reporting, I reject,” he added.
(Jacob Kornbluh – YWN)