City council holds heated blizzard hearing

March 9, 2011 3:19:16 PM PST
New York City Council held another hearing on the city's response to the blizzard of 2010.

The blizzard of 2010 pummeled the city.

"Leaving us in a state of emergency and paralysis," Councilmember Letitia James said.

The city's response:

"We had a blizzard blunder," City Councilmember James Vacca said.

"We're here to learn from those mistakes and promise to do better in the future," an official said.

After eight different hearings, and 30 hours of testimony, at yet another hearing, City council members proposed no less than 16 bills calling for various ways to deal with snow emergencies.

"And hopefully insure they never happen again," City Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr. said.

City Hall countered with its own 15-point plan.

"Our first recommendation was to amend the process by which a snow declaration is declared," said Liz Weinstein, of the Mayor's Office of Operations.

Then, they urged council members not to move forward on any of their 16 proposals.

"What is worse is that they could make snow recovery more inefficient by establishing rigid blues and predetermined actions when a more flexible response is necessary and advisable," Weinstein said.

Council members, stunned by the request, fired back.

"We feel the need to pass legislation to ensure that plans that are actually made are actually followed," City Councilmember David Greenfield said.

"We just want to get to a place where the administration feels that we have the flexibility to address what we need to address and work with you on what the right language is," Weinstein said.

It's a dialogue that continues as now a frosty winter starts to turn to spring.