Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, February 24, 2011

De Blasio Finally Surfaces On A DOE Issue

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, perhaps bought off during his post-election coffee klatch with Mayor Bloomberg in 2009, has been essentially MIA on so many of the important issues of the day in this city - from school closures to school PCB's to Cathie Black to CityTime and the other no-bid contracting scandals involving the Bloomberg administration.

The Daily News reports today that he is taking a stand on the closure of PS 114
, the school run into the ground by the principal and now slated to be replaced by the DOE:

The City Education Department is closing a school it ran into the ground by failing to remove an incompetent principal for years, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio charges.

In a letter to Schools Chancellor Cathie Black, de Blasio laid out the extraordinary complaints against Principal Maria Pena-Herrera, including that she:

# Failed to notify them on the day of an attempted kidnapping.

# Failed to evacuate the school during a bomb threat.

# Mismanaged school finances, running up $180,000 in debt that required the school to cut guidance counselors and extra tutoring programs.

"Public schools' parents are a resource for improving our children's education but for years the Department of Education ... has treated them as an obstruction," said de Blasio. "[Public School 114] is being closed because for four years the Department ignored parents' concerns."

De Blasio is expecting to join parents and members of the Coalition for Educational Justice to oppose the closing.

The vote on the closing is slated for next week, Education Department officials said. "This decision is ultimately about providing the best possible education for PS 114 students moving forward," said spokesman Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld.

Hey, great to hear from you, Bill. Where the f--k you been this past year and a half?

While John Liu was exposing the problems with the CityTime contract, nailing the Bloomberg administration on other no-bid contracting violations including the egregious overruns on the NYCDOE high school admissions computer program and the 911 system, forcing city contractors who bilked employees out of millions of dollars of overtime and backpay to pony up what they owed, and investigating tax cheats, you've been doing what exactly?

Dunno, but whatever it was, I'm sure it was important.

Or maybe it wasn't.

Maybe you just surfaced after the Bloomberg budget that cuts your own budget by 20% to try and show why your office is relevant and shouldn't garner cuts.

Regardless of the reason, you've been MIA on so many important issues this first year and a half of the Third Illegal Term of Herr Bloomberg and I'll be sure to remember that come 2013 when you set your sights on higher office.

The essential theme in 2013 will be: who took on Bloomberg and tried to hold The Little Dictator accountable, and who either carried his water for him (Quinn) or sat on his hands while the mayor ran roughshod over citizens (de Blasio.)

The other thing that sticks in my mind the most is when Bloomberg invited both de Blasio and Liu out for coffee after the 2009 election and de Blasio eagerly took the mayor up on the meeting while Liu said he "had other plans."

Today's letter in support of PS 114 doesn't do much to diminish those thoughts from my head.

But keep trying, Bill.

It would be great to have you on board the Hold Bloomberg Accountable Express.

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