83° Good Afternoon
83° Good Afternoon

Bill de Blasio: I’m in the loop with Gov. Cuomo on snow prep

Mayor Bill de Blasio issues a hazardous travel

Mayor Bill de Blasio issues a hazardous travel advisory for Saturday's weather at Spring Street Salt Shed in lower Manhattan on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, as the upcoming storm approaches. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

The approaching snowstorm may test whether there has been a thaw in the long-running feud between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

De Blasio said Thursday that he doesn’t expect to be surprised like last year, when Cuomo gave the city 15 minutes’ notice before announcing that he was unilaterally shutting down the subways for what turned out to be a dud of a snowstorm.

“The lack of coordination was a real problem, and obviously the decision should have been different, but this time there’s going to be a lot more communication and coordination,” de Blasio said during a morning news conference at a sanitation department salt storage shed.

Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever said in an email: “There is communication and coordination between our offices.”

After maintaining an icy distance for months, the men have spoken politely of the other in recent weeks. They marched together behind the same banner on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to support a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

A sore spot for de Blasio was Jan. 26, 2015, when Cuomo ordered the entire subway system shut down that night for the first time in its 110-year history because of weather — without consulting de Blasio.

“We found out just as it was being announced,” the mayor said then.

De Blasio lamented that the governor’s aides told their City Hall counterparts just before Cuomo went on television to announce the closure.

Earlier that afternoon, Cuomo’s head of the MTA, Tom Prendergast, told reporters that he didn’t think a systemwide shutdown would be necessary.

Forecasters had warned of at least 1 to 2 feet of snow accumulation with wind gusts of up to 50 mph. But the storm largely dodged the city and points east.

This time, de Blasio said Thursday, a total shutdown for the storm arriving Saturday was unlikely, and that his staff and the governor’s have had “good conversations.”

“I think everyone reflected upon last time and recognized that we need to do things differently going forward. And so there’s going to be a lot of conversation in the next 48 hours to get this one right,” de Blasio said.

Last year’s snow dispute began a year of sniping between the two men, peaking June 30 when de Blasio summoned City Hall reporters to his office to complain that the governor had exacted “revenge” and carried on a “vendetta” that thwarted the city’s interests.

In the time since, the men have disagreed over matters big and small — including how effectively de Blasio responded to the homelessness crisis and whether the city was at risk of descending into the disorder of the 1980s and early 1990s. Cuomo has suggested yes; de Blasio, no.

A poll by Quinnipiac University released midday Thursday showed that city voters approve of Cuomo’s job performance 65 percent to 29 percent, a strong showing compared with de Blasio, whose job approval rating is 50 to 42.

The poll, conducted from Jan. 11 to Jan. 17 by the Connecticut-based school, questioned 1,143 voters on cellphones and landlines. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos