Broken promises: Ridgites say mayor backed out of meeting pledge

Back in June, Bay Ridge City Council candidate Liam McCabe brought a day’s worth of trash from Barwell Terrace to the mayor’s residence at Gracie Mansion in a pickup truck to try and force Mayor DeBlasio to address the issue. The meeting staffers promised never materialized.
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Mayor DeBlasio’s word is garbage, say angry Ridgites who say he’s gone back on his promise to meet with them about trash-collection problems.

Residents of four private Bay Ridge streets are impatiently waiting for a face-to-face meeting with Hizzoner, or at least a senior staff member, to discuss the city’s sudden decision to end garbage pickup earlier this year — a sit-down that was promised, but never scheduled, by a staffer back in June.

The Department of Sanitation’s demand that the residents drag their garbage out to the nearest public street is a nonsensical policy that the mayor could easily reverse if he would just hear them out, said one resident.

“I’m shocked that the mayor didn’t get involved because I think if the mayor were to get involved, he’d be able to inject some common sense into the matter and bring it to a quick resolution into our favor,” said Bill Larney, a resident of Barwell Terrace, one of the four private streets affected by the new policy.

In March, the Department of Sanitation suddenly abandoned its decades-old practice of sending workers on foot down the narrow private roads to collect household garbage and demanded that residents drag their trash to the closest public sidewalks — a practice which residents insist is both dangerous and against the city’s Health and Administrative code. Last month, residents of Barwell Terrace, Wogan Terrace, Hamilton Walk, and Lafayette Walk — including Larney — responded by filing suit against the city and the Department of Sanitation seeking restoration of service.

Back in June, Bay Ridge City Council candidate Liam McCabe brought a day’s worth of trash from Barwell Terrace to the mayor’s residence at Gracie Mansion in a pickup truck to try and force Mayor DeBlasio to address the issue. McCabe said Daniel Abramson, the Brooklyn Borough Director of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, spoke to him outside the mansion and promised that someone the mayor’s office would soon meet with the residents.

Abramson followed up with an email a week later, according to McCabe, and even reached out to Community Board 10 for the contact information of the affected residents. But Abramson never followed through on scheduling a meeting between the residents and the mayor or anyone from his office. Abramson did not reply to a request for comment by press time.

A resident of one of the private streets affected who received a phone call from Abramson to discuss the policy said that he listened to her point of view, but she did not get the sense that the conversation would bring about any sort of change.

“It was really just kind of a perfunctory reach out,” said Amanda Regnier, a resident of Wogan Terrace who is also a petitioner in the lawsuit. “It seemed like a formality that he heard me out, but it didn’t change what he was saying back to me.”

The city has insisted that the policy change is a safety issue, but Larney and other residents have charged that this rationale does not make sense, not only because the private streets are safe, but also because the policy ignores the safety of the residents — some of whom are elderly or disabled.

“In my opinion, going down the alleyway of Barwell Terrace is safer than going down a public street,” Larney said. “It’s isolated. It’s quiet. They’re concerned about the safety of a Sanitation worker walking down an alleyway, but they don’t care about the safety of an elderly or infirm person now having to bring their trash 150 yards to the curb.”

Beckmann said there are no records of Sanitation workers injured while collecting garbage on the four private streets. And Regnier and Larney said that emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and police officers regularly walk down the four private streets on foot, which calls into question the city’s defense of the new trash policy.

Larney said he and his neighbors filed suit because this is a clear-cut case of taxation without sanitation.

“We’re already entitled to all city services,” he said. “Sanitation revoked or completely modified the services we’re entitled to and yet we pay full city tax.”

The residents will have their day in court on Aug. 18 in Kings County Supreme Court, according to Stephen Harrison, the attorney representing the residents.

The Department of Sanitation directed all related questions to the Law Department, which declined to comment.

Updated 4:14 pm, August 18, 2017
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Reader feedback

John V. Lindsay from UES says:
Should the mayor of a city of 8 million people really be expected to personally meet with residents over a minor trash collection problem?
Aug. 18, 2017, 12:16 pm
Meredith says:
This is why political stunts only help the candidate. Liam Mc Cabe hauls a day’s worth of trash from Barwell Terrace to Gracie Mansion in a pickup truck and the only person who wins is Mc Cabe by getting his name and face on the 8 o'clock news. Who loses? The residents of Barwell Terrace. Mc Cabe is a typical politician.
Aug. 18, 2017, 1:40 pm
Mary G. from Bay Ridge says:
I'm happy to see Mr. McCabe tried to hold the mayor accountable. Maybe if the mayor doesn't care about us in Bay Ridge at least our next councilman will.
Aug. 18, 2017, 3:48 pm
Q4U Vote Q says:
While Liam plays games and gets his face on television, Steve Harrison and Josephine Beckman from Community Board Ten have SUED the city to make this right. Silly stunts get nothing done.
Aug. 18, 2017, 4:41 pm
Harry says:
The best part was when the cops told Liam to take the garbage back with him and he said "Okay." What a fighter that Liam is
Aug. 18, 2017, 4:59 pm
DOS says:
what a bunch of garbage
Aug. 18, 2017, 7:36 pm
Herbert Michael from Bay Ridge says:
The story in his mailing today says he took the garbage to the Mayor but leaves out that the Mayor's office staff asked him to take the garbage back. Accomplishes nothing. Pure grandstanding on mcCabe's part - try to get something to hang his hat on. What a joke.
Aug. 18, 2017, 11:58 pm
Jo from Bay Ridge says:
Finally someone who's willing to get his hands dirty and get in somebody's face to help us out. Keep fighting for us Liam.
Aug. 19, 2017, 8:34 am
Q Who from Marty's Office says:
All I do is get middle-aged guys in suits to stand around holding my signs. Why can't my guys come up with anything as clever and impactful as Liam?
Aug. 19, 2017, 8:51 am
Vince from Dyker Heights says:
The point is that Liam went right to the Mayor and made him aware of this problem. LIAM GETS THINGS DONE.
Aug. 19, 2017, 12:28 pm
Magda from Bay Parkway says:
Mayor is pathetic. Why doesn't he send a representative to resolve this? If he can't take care of a garbage issue how can he take care of the City of NY?

Shame on you Mayor Deblahsio! May your karma be filled with garbage that you spend your life to dig out of.
Aug. 19, 2017, 2:01 pm
james faraguna attorney & disabled Veteran from Brooklyn. VAMC new york harbor says:
New York Harbor Veterans Medical Center located at. 800 Poly Place VAMC Brooklyn will hold a Veteran Salute - Police, Military, Disabled Veterans will be honored in a Patriotic Ceremony based on Diversity to men and women who serve on the home front or overseas, dependants and Patriotic laypeople Wednesday August 23 in the 16th floor VA psycho-social Clubhouse & Day Hospital Directors Melanie Zarrabi & Bert Hersch- accepting America's Military lithograph Donation and honoring NYPD Police Chiefs Phil Erikson and MTA Police Chief Ray Diaz who earned two Purple Hearts Us Marine in Vietnam. And more service awards in a Positive Patriotic Ceremony for peace. We need your fax to recieve our program. The Brooklyn Cyclones will participate. Melanie's contact 718-836-6600 ext 1255 Veteran Hospital.
Aug. 20, 2017, 5:45 pm
soviero from S I says:
the only group of people this so call mayor bill de blasio will meet with is AL SHARPTON and the national action network to talk about there next protest job and housing just for the African American community and he calls others people racist he should look at who he stands for and who stands behind him just watch him on T V when he's giving a press confence and see who's behind him
Aug. 20, 2017, 9:27 pm
Joanne from Bay Ridge says:
Where is de Blasio puppet Justin Brannan? He would never hold the mayor accountable. When the flowers bloom in Bay Ridge he is on Facebook taking credit. When there is real work to do in Bay Ridge he plays on his phone and disappears
Aug. 21, 2017, 3:42 am

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