Maybe Rockaway should consider moving its St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Atlanta if organizers want Mayor de Blasio to attend.

Mother Nature on Friday kept the mayor from taking a trip to Georgia, where he was set to deliver a speech to a retail workers national convention. While there are plenty of retail workers in New York City who the mayor presumably can talk with, the taxpayer-funded trip was deemed an important item to be placed on the mayor’s itinerary.

But a nasty nor’easter grounded the mayor’s flight, preventing him from increasing the tally of his 63 out-of-town trips he’s taken since assuming office in 2014. It could have been a teachable moment for de Blasio, allowing him to meet some New Yorkers during his weekend stay-cation, look at storm damage, or even join the festivities in Rockaway during its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

De Blasio has something to celebrate along the West End of Rockaway’s peninsula; his ferry has been a real and popular success, giving thousands of residents a real alternative to the sluggish A train. While the ferry was first launched under Mayor Bloomberg after Hurricane Sandy, de Blasio made it a permanent service, adding a crucial weekend schedule, and expanding it to far-flung neighborhoods in other boroughs. De Blasio would be entitled to wear a St. Patrick’s sash festooned with a shamrock and a boat.

The mayor literally walked and chewed gum in front of reporters in Iowa, trying to prove the point that he can both do his job in the city while representing it and fighting for it outside the five boroughs. But the mayor should also be able to chew gum and walk in a parade at the same time, especially when his schedule gets cleared by a storm.


Bob Hardt