Three-month-old Addison Reynoso lost consciousness in Queens yesterday afternoon, due to a respiratory infection. Now he lies brain-dead, because the paramedics couldn’t get him to the hospital in time. They made it to the Reynoso home in twelve minutes, which isn’t too bad on those messy New York streets… but then the ambulance got stuck in the snow, thirty yards away from the hospital, because the street outside the emergency room hadn’t been plowed yet. The paramedics had to grab the baby and run the rest of the way to Elmhurst Hospital.
This news comes as the New York Post reports that Sanitation department officials diverted snowplows to their own homes, and the areas where various city big shots live, while certain neighborhoods were deliberately targeted for poor snowplow service by the vindictive Sanitation Workers’ union. The idea was to make people with big megaphones feel the pain of recent budget cuts to the Sanitation Department.
Another New York City official, Democrat Assemblyman Dov Hikind, has joined the chorus of outrage over the Big Apple Snow Job. Hikind told the Post he was informed “months ago” that the sanitation unions were planning a “slowdown or job action” to protest budget cuts. Meanwhile, outgoing New York governor David Paterson is calling for a criminal investigation, and the original whistleblower, Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran of Queens, has produced video of snow plows rolling through blanketed streets without plowing them.
Anger at Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to intensify. He didn’t do himself any favors by making unfulfilled promises of completely plowed streets to deflect criticism. It would be a mistake to shovel all the blame for the blizzard response onto the Mayor, however. It seems increasingly clear this was a massive systemic failure, brought about by city and union officials who viewed a deadly natural disaster as an opportunity to pursue political agendas. Other states going bankrupt beneath the unsustainable demands of public employee unions should take a long, hard look at the final, tragic extreme of a “business model” that turned the people of New York City into adversaries, instead of clients.