First: yes, we finally have our power back, as of this morning. The cable, which made its own outage in fear of not getting enough of our attention, is also back. Thanks to everyone who sent us well-wishes, and particular thanks to Jen & Jay for putting us up for the weekend so we could pretend as though we were a part of society.
As the dust begins to clear, and fingers begin to point towards those who should shoulder the blame, it was only a matter of time until Mediocrity reared its ugly head:
As power is slowly being restored in Northwest Queens, the mayor says embattled Con Edison CEO Kevin Burke should not only keep his job, but that he deserves a pat on the back from New Yorkers, much to the surprise of Queens lawmakers.
“I think Kevin Burke deserves a thanks from this city. He’s worked as hard as he can every single day since then, as has everybody at Con Ed,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference Monday. “It’s easy to go criticize, but once this happened, Con Ed has been doing everything they can to bring it back.”
Assemblyman Michael Gianaris and City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. — who believe Burke should be fired — were visibly stunned by the mayor’s comments.
In a way, Bloomberg is right. It is easy to criticize.
It’s easy to criticize a public utility company that gives counts of blacked-out subscribers based on the number of people who call to complain, rather than any real metric.
It’s easy to criticize a CEO that doesn’t apologize until the fifth day of the outage.
It’s easy to criticize workers who have been reported as sleeping on the job, hooting at women, and – in my own personal experience – reading books on Seamanship when they should be fixing the grid.
It’s easy to criticize a governor who refuses to declare a disaster area when over 100,000 people were without power for nearly a week.
It’s easy to criticize a claims program that only allows business claims for food spoilage, thus denying all businesses who don’t deal in perishable goods any immediate relief for their inability to be open.
Beyond all else, it’s easy to criticize a mayor who refuses to hold anyone accountable for the longest blackout in New York City history.