The Mayor of the Big Apple hasn’t been having a particularly good week. First, his Health Commissioner turned in his notice, blasting Hizzoner’s failed handling of the COVID-19 disaster on the way out the door. And now the media has resurrected the questions surrounding Bill de Blasio’s decision to help paint gigantic Black Lives Matter murals on the streets of all five boroughs while so far failing to approve requests for any other such political speech on the city’s asphalt. You see, the Mayor didn’t bother getting a permit approved for the artwork before rolling up his sleeves and sloshing some paint around. But he’s insisting that anyone else wishing to do so will have to go through the usual channels. How does he explain this inconsistency? Easy. Shut up, he explained. (Daily Wire)
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio admitted Monday that he did not follow proper permitting procedure when he ordered city workers to paint Black Lives Matter murals in each of the city’s five bureaus, the New York Post reports, potentially putting the city at legal risk and opening the door for more political speech in the form of street art.
On Monday, the mayor claimed that the city has not turned down requests to paint street murals, but said that there is a “process” for applying to create public art.
“We haven’t said ‘no’ to people, we’ve said, ‘If you want to apply, you can apply, but there’s a process,’” De Blasio told reporters.
To be fair to the Mayor, he did offer a bit more of an explanation than that to the New York Post. He said “That is something that again transcends all normal realities because we are at a moment of history when that had to be said and done, that’s a decision I made. But the normal process continues for anyone who wants to apply.”
Did you catch what Hizzoner was saying there? This is a “moment in history” and a Man of Destiny like Bill de Blasio can’t be bothered with piddling things like municipal laws or codes. He is too busy saving the world to be stuck at his desk filling out request forms. He was called to action.
But if any of you other suckers want to go expressing yourselves on the mean streets of New York, you’re going to have to go through the normal process, get a permit and pay a fee. Is this guy a mayor or a monarch?
The Mayor’s claim about not having said ‘no’ to anyone else is also dubious at best. While he may not have said no, he also hasn’t said yes. And plenty of people have applied for permits now that the streets have been designated as appropriate locations for political speech in the form of giant block letters. One group that supports Donald Trump, Women for America First, has been waiting for almost two months for an answer to their permit application and has now taken the city to court over the delay.
The office of the Public Transportation Commissioner is taking the Mayor’s side as well. Without offering any sort of legal justification, they claimed that “the city is able to make unilateral decisions on individual requests.” But in the case of the Mayor, there wasn’t any request on the record. He just decided to do it as if he were the King. Perhaps that’s how the world works in his head. And at least thus far, there’s nobody willing to put a leash on him.