I do not envy Mayor De Blasio or Governor Cuomo today. One “failed” snow storm—and they are criticized, castigated, berated, and blamed for making what their fault-finders call a bad decision.
As we all know, the city was shut down late Monday and Tuesday—the roads closed and, in an unprecedented move, the subways shut down as well. FIT closed on Monday at 2:00 pm and remained closed all day and evening on Tuesday. As we all know, the monster blizzard turned out to be a much gentler weather event for the city, with gusty winds and about eight inches of snow. Long Island and New England were battered by the storm—and I suspect residents there were grateful that their elected leaders took all necessary precautions.
I am not responsible for millions of people as are the mayor and the governor. I am, however, responsible for the safety and security of 10,000 FIT students and 1,700 employees and I take that responsibility very seriously. Keeping the college open or closed under these circumstances will always have consequences, and the consequence I will always want to avoid is one affecting anyone’s safety.
I recognize that the mayor and governor walk a tight-rope when dealing with weather predictions and completely sympathize with their decision to…as they say…err on the side of caution. I believe that if the brunt of the storm had veered just a bit more to the west, the critics would today be hailing the mayor and governor as heroes. New York City was lucky. It’s as simple as that. Were we inconvenienced here at FIT? We were. Classes were cancelled, meetings postponed. Our valiant Buildings and Grounds crew was on duty throughout the storm—Monday and Tuesday—keeping the grounds safe; Aramark workers maintained food service for our students. Considering all, I think we have nothing to complain about and I am delighted to be back at my desk on this frigid but sunny day.