New York, NY - Blizzard of Bills to Force Accountability During Storms
New York, NY - Mayor Bloomberg whipped up a new 15-point snow removal plan after the Dec. 26 blizzard debacle, but it’s not enough for the City Council.
Council leaders are crafting a package of bills to force Bloomberg - and future mayors - to work faster, explain their actions and ensure that every borough gets served.
The idea is “make sure that our system is spelled out and clarified for the public and that there’s no room for error,” said one person familiar with the proposed legislation.
Among bills in the works are ones that would:
Mandate a snow emergency when forecasters say a blizzard is on the way.
Require the city to open its emergency operations center long before the flakes start falling.
Force crews to meet strict deadlines on removing towers of snow that block crosswalks.
Require the city to publish lists of streets defined as primary, secondary or tertiary - a ranking system that determines which streets get plowed first.
Designate an official to be in charge of cleanup in each borough.
Other measures would force the city to improve its 911 emergency system and beef up its 311 information system during storms.
All are designed to correct mistakes made in the disastrous response to the Dec. 26 blizzard, which left cars and ambulances stuck in the snow for days.
Council members say they’ve gained new insights from a series of blizzard hearings held in each borough.
One source said as many as 20 bills and resolutions have emerged from the hearings, though the final number may change before legislation is announced.
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