New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision not to close the city’s schools Thursday has, as The New York Times says, become “another headache” for the Democratic chief executive.
“As big flakes accumulated in a messy morning rush on Thursday, the decision drew rebukes from parents and principals alike, who swapped tales of stranded buses and mostly empty classrooms on a day when fewer than half of students made it to school,” the Times writes.
The mayor, who has been in office just since Jan. 1, had already come in for some criticism from people on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They felt as though their neighborhood’s streets weren’t cleaned up quickly enough after a snowstorm in late January.
After Thursday’s decision to keep schools open, de Blasio was the target of some tartly worded Tweets from Today Show/Weather Channel meteorologist Al Roker. The weatherman was quite blunt about what he thought the mayor should have done: close the schools.
Roker’s posts included this biting remark:
“I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term.”
Thursday afternoon, de Blasio was asked about Roker’s barbs. “I respect Al Roker a lot. I watched him on TV for many, many years,” the mayor said. “I respect all the meteorologists out there, but the one I respect the most is called the National Weather Service. And this did — and they just affirmed to us on the call before we came out to you — that this went faster and heavier than their projections last night. And that happens. It is — it’s weather. None of us controls it.”
Friday morning in Sochi, where Roker is part of the Today show team covering the Olympics, he stood by the gist of his tweets — but did concede that the “1 term” crack went too far.
“Everything else, I still stand by,” Roker said, “including the fact that the National Weather Service did forecast that [the storm’s severity] on Wednesday.”
Roker wasn’t asked about whether he’s sorry for misspelling the mayor’s last name in that “1 term” tweet.
By the way, New York City’s schools are open again today.
Our early posts about school closings: