As a Liberal Democrat I would certainly not be first in line to attack a New York City mayor who portrays himself as a progressive concerned about all of his city’s citizens, but after what I saw today I feel compelled to express my very negative opinion of his performance.
The decision made by Mayor Bill de Blasio to keep the schools open was just plain dumb. The argument made in the press conference, a press conference tightly controlled by the mayor, was that public schools remained open because of a protocol that was followed, discussions between officials, and a strong reluctance to close the schools that was backed up by the small number of instances in which they were actually closed over the years.
Be that as it may, it was apparent to almost everyone watching this morning that the conditions were so hazardous that this decision was reckless and irresponsible. Maybe the mayor and his officials will get lucky and no ones gets seriously hurt or ill as a result, but that doesn’t make the decision a good one. If on one side you tell people to stay home unless they need to go out, then how do you mandate that children need to go out to attend school? It makes no sense and was a display of poor judgment that should concern the citizens of New York immensely. It also destroys the credibility you need when you ask a populous to stay home, something I believe the newly elected mayor knew by the way he was jumping in first to answer questions in the press conference that were not directed his way. It looked a lot like someone who told his staff, ‘if the questions get challenging let me take the lead’.
As a Liberal Democrat I had some degree of enthusiasm at the prospect of a liberally progressive mayor taking over in New York City. Today’s stupidity doesn’t have to mean we won’t witness exciting and positive developments for the city, but if future important decisions are made with the same recklessness, the problems it will cause will outweigh any progress.