City blows off Dyker civic seeking snowpocalyse answers

Dyker Heights residents got another snow job at the hands of city officials.

The Department of Sanitation, the mayor’s office and the Office of Emergency Management all blew off a Feb. 8 neighborhood civic meeting to discuss the city’s poor response to the legendary 20-inch Snowpocalypse on the day after Christmas.

“I am offended by the fact that they are not here,” said Nick Guarella, one of the many residents still smarting over the snowstorm that left major roads impassable for days.

It’s not as if the agencies did not know of the meeting at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church; all three agencies had been invited for the civic group’s January meeting, which was canceled because of snow and rescheduled.

Fran Vella-Marrone, the president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, said that all the agencies had been re-invited, but “they all declined,” she said.

“They won’t come here and talk about snow,” she said. “They will talk about something else. I think it’s because the city wants to move forward and doesn’t want to look back.”

That’s too bad, said Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), who pointed out that history is littered with the results of not looking back at past failures.

“If you don’t look back,” he said, “you are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

A Sanitation Department spokeswoman said the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.

“From the beginning, the Department made it clear that it would not discuss snow issues because the City Council hearings into the blizzard response were still ongoing,” said the spokeswoman, Kathy Dawkins. “We informed them of that condition well in advance of their meeting. The department offered to send a representative to discuss issues other than the blizzard response. However, the department did not receive a response to its offer.”