I'm a West New York resident, I've been living here for four years and I am writing because I am so astounded by how useless the local government was before and after the hurricane.
I live down on the waterfront, in an area that you could rightly assume would take the first and hardest hit from a hurricane, and yet, when I checked the WNY gov't website over the weekend, there was no mention even of preparing or evacuation. Nothing.
Finally, some cops started to drive around our area and suggest we evacuate, but, they did it by driving by making announcements from the car with a loudspeaker, and they drove by so fast you could only hear bits of what they were saying
This is how they get news out to citizens?? By sending people around in cars?? What's next - the Pony Express???
All you have to do is get online and look at Twitter and see what the mayors in Hoboken and Newark are doing, and it really puts our local elected officials to shame. Twitter is a simple and useful tool - you don't need to have an advanced degree in computer science to use it, and yet the Mayor of WNY has only used it a few times ages ago, once to share the important news of where he was on vacation.
No sooner had I closed on my home in March 2009 then I got the news that my taxes were going up by 20 plus percent - what a welcome to the neighborhood.
And since I've been living here (we've had one Mayor and now another), I've never seen either of these men down here to meet with us on the waterfront and hear our concerns. We pay very high taxes and in some cases, we pay for services we don't even use (e.g. our condo community pays for a private garbage service), and we've had issues down here with people having items stolen from their garages [which are only steps up from the waterfront walkway, which is public property], yet you never see a WNY police car down here to patrol, unless they've been called by someone to report a theft).
And now, with this hurricane, it really has shone a very bright light on how ineffective our local elected officials are. Geez, you'd think - if nothing else - they'd see it as a great publicity opportunity, to be out there glad-handing the local population and at least giving the appearance of doing something. Where are these people hiding?
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to look at how visible people like Dawn Zimmer and Corey Booker have been and how much press coverage they've gotten (except they're not just making empty gestures and showing up to get their pictures taken, they are actually helping their constituents). Zimmer has been tireless in Tweeting helpful info to her town about what's available where, what shops & gas stations are open, where to go to get help, where to go to give help. I give her a lot of credit.
Why can't West New York get a dedicated, hard-working Mayor like Booker or Zimmer?