Sunday, December 28, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: A Presidential Seal Of Approval – But What About Sandy?

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It's not exactly Camp David, but P-Tech High School will be the site of the Bloomberg-Bill de Blasio summit – brought to you by President Obama.

As the commander-in-chief heads to a Brooklyn high school this afternoon to talk up education policy (and close down parts of Prospect Park), he's also greeting the mayor and the Democratic frontrunner to succeed him. (Sorry Joe Lhota, I guess former MTA Chairmen don't rate.)

Of course, any time a president comes to New York, he's also fundraising so POTUS is also expected to rake in about $1 million for the Democratic National Committee and Congressional Democrats.
It is somewhat disappointing that while we are just days away from marking the one-year anniversary of one of the worst disasters to hit the city, Hurricane Sandy doesn't appear to be on Obama's radar during his trip.

While storm-struck neighborhoods are well on their way to recovery, there is still plenty to be done. As Long Island residents today celebrate the reopening of their boardwalk on Long Beach, most of Rockaway's 5.5 miles of boardwalk is still missing – with rumblings of the unstarted project not being completed until 2015.

Meanwhile, the city's vaunted "Build it Back" program seems stuck in neutral and underfunded – with thousands of homeowners still awaiting checks from the city for the repairs they did to their damaged homes. And if you want an idea of what people in one city neighborhood are going through, watch "Road to City Hall" tonight for Errol Louis' roundtable discussion with some Rockaway Beach residents (full disclosure: I'm one of them) about the struggles of the community a year after the hurricane.

All of this is a constant reminder that what's considered old news to many is still a painful reality to some. So while it may be fun to fuss and fulminate about the president closing down the park, let's also remember there are plenty of homes and businesses that still need federal help. It could start from the top.

Bob Hardt

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