Another week, another snowstorm, and another batch of mayors trying to dig themselves free. Let us begin.
Atlanta mayor not taking chances
Atlanta didn't fare well a couple of weeks ago when 1-2 inches of snow fell there, leaving people stranded on the roads, in grocery stores, etc. Nor did the leadership look very sharp when Mayor Kasim Reed and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal took turns blaming each other for the mess, rather than taking responsibility for their failings.
The good news (or not) is that they got a second chance to prove themselves this week during yet another ice storm, dubbed Winter Storm Pax. According to Time magazine, the city more than doubled the number of salt spreaders and snow plows it had on the streets from the previous storm (to 125), and it stocked up on "3,000 tons of salt, sand and gravel." Further, in a series of tweets, video updates (see below), etc., the mayor urged people to stay off the roads, and Atlanta's schools were closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
Those advanced preparations -- and the willingness of citizens (still scarred by recent memory, no doubt) to stay indoors -- have allowed for the city to fare better than it did two weeks ago... though, had that not been the case, we think an overthrow of local leadership would have been warranted. Nevertheless, we send our warmest thoughts to the South and hope Snowlanta will return to its much preferred state of Hotlanta soon enough.
@AlRoker vs. Bill de Blasio
NBC weatherman Al Roker was not happy with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday, and he took to Twitter to let the people know why.
In other tweets, the celebrity weatherman called keeping schools open a "goofball policy," and he went as far as to predict the future: "Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term." (Uh, never mind that the mayor's name is spelled de Blasio.)
Of course, as we've discussed previously, there's a very good reason for New York City public schools to stay open whenever possible, and that is because working families depend on schools to serve their children hot meals. New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina explained as much when questioned by ABC News this week.
Many of our kids don't get a hot lunch and, in many cases breakfast, unless they go to school. So it's still a parent's decision whether they send their kids to school or not. My decision is where the kids are safest and the most taken care of, and the answer to that is in schools.
In non-snow-related updates...
Bob Filner is back in the news
We know you were missing those regular updates about San Diego's former mayor/sexual harasser, Bob Filner. Well, here's one: According to Reuters, the city and Filner have agreed to pay Filner's ex-press secretary $250,000 to settle her harassment suit. The kicker, though, is that none of that money will come from Filner himself. It will all come from the city's purse.
Speaking of San Diego mayors, the city officially has a new one. Republican Kevin Faulconer won the special election to replace the aforementioned Filner, and if you're in the mood to learn 10 things about him -- like, for instance, that he has two guinea pigs -- Politico has some facts for you right here.
Ex-mayor of New Orleans found guilty
Last week, we reported that New Orleans reelected Mitch Landrieu as mayor. This week, we're reporting that the city's former mayor, Ray Nagin, was found guilty of 20 out of 21 counts of bribery and fraud. He now faces 20 years in prison.
Here's more on that from CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
Hmm. Well, ending there just seems depressing. Let's see what else we can dig out before we leave you. Ah, we found just the thing!
Boris Johnson calls George Clooney "Hitlerian"
Googling "Boris Johnson" is pretty much a guaranteed way to restore one's cheer. This time, London's mayor is making headlines for attacking Hollywood's own George Clooney, who apparently suggested, when asked during a press conference, that London should "probably" return the Elgin Marbles -- removed from the Parthenon 200 years ago and now residing at the British Museum -- to Greece.
As the Telegraph reports, the mayor found this suggestion displeasing.
Someone urgently needs to restore George Clooney's marbles... This Clooney is advocating nothing less than the Hitlerian agenda for London's cultural treasures. He should stuff the Hollywood script and stick to history.
OK. Now we can officially call it a wrap. Happy weekend to you, George, Boris, and all the rest.
— Nicole Ferraro, Editor in Chief, UBM's Future Cities