Mayor Bill de Blasio may be kicking back in Italy next week, but his first deputy mayor, Anthony Shorris, is getting no such vacation. He is in charge of the city during the mayor's vacation, and he may be forced to deal with a transit strike while his boss is away. NY1's Grace Rauh spoke exclusively with Shorris and filed the following report.
While Mayor Bill de Blasio runs around Rome with his family this weekend, Anthony Shorris will be busy running City Hall.
The first deputy mayor takes the reins while the mayor is gone. It's an official transfer of power that de Blasio set up by executive order earlier this year.
"The truth is, Grace, it's actually not as different as it sounds from what my daily life is anyway," Shorris said. "It's not like the mayor sits in my office all day long. He's out and about most of the day."
Out and about in the five boroughs, perhaps, but not across the Atlantic Ocean in Italy.
Shorris said there will be daily briefings with the mayor during his nine-day vacation.
The first deputy mayor has worked for several former mayors, including Ed Koch, who enjoyed some long trips abroad.
"And that was before there was cellphones, texts, sat phones and the endless array of communication devices we have today, and the city got through it just fine, and I expect we will again," Shorris said.
De Blasio's vacation stands out because he is scheduled to be away during a possible Long Island Rail Road strike.
"Our job is to be ready in case it does happen, and we have a pretty strong contingency plan that we built inside the city," Shorris said.
Aides said the mayor would cut his trip short if necessary. So far, he does not appear to think a strike requires him to be here.
The mayor himself has spoken about the importance of being on the ground in an emergency situation. After a Metro-North train derailment last year, de Blasio made it clear that he would do things differently than Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who stayed in Bermuda to play golf after the derailment.
"My instinct in these things is to be present, even if the city is not the lead," he said on December 2.
When Upper East Side residents complained that their streets were not getting plowed after a January snowstorm, the mayor went to the neighborhood. He wanted to talk to New Yorkers directly about conditions on the ground.