Brooklyn On Line
Mayoral Politics, Clean Streets and the City Bureaucracy

During the last Mayoral election the Sanitation Department in this
 neighborhood of Midwood had stickers posted on the garbage truck saying
"Vote for Dinkins".  Many of the sanitation department men wore Tee Shirts
what said the same thing.  During the week of the election, Both the
Dinkins Camp and the Guiliani Camp put up posters up and down Ave. J and
Ave.M.  A day later the Posters for Dinkins were pulled down, presumably
by  the Police Department. 

City Politics and the massive New York pool of government workers has been
a problem for New York in many ways and for many years.  Different city
agencies often drag their feet or hold back certain jobs to when it is
best politically for candidates which they support.  This is beyond the
manipulation and the holding back of city services do to job actions and
union negotiations, which is a separate issue and a horse of a different

This brings up a question in the mind of all New Yorkers.  The Junction at
Nostrand Avenue and Flatbush has always been a most difficult corner to
keep clean and litter free.  One of the busiest of Brooklyn's
intersection, and by virtue of it's cross path of 2 major through fares in
Brooklyn, The Junction's traffic in complicated by a function of it being
the terminus for the IRT Subway line in Central Brooklyn, and thereby
servicing and the Gateway to Manhattan for many of the outer areas.  Added
to this is the problem of The Junction being the main Gateway to Brooklyn
College and the problem of the Long Island Railroad tracks. The not all
the local streets go over the tracks, effectively cutting the neighborhood
in half and funneling traffic through the main throughway streets.  The
overpasses themselves have no businesses there to clean the accumulation
of street garbage, and the result is quite a mess. 

Sometime last year I had noticed that the Junction was noticeably cleaner
than it had been in previous years.  MUCH MUCH Cleaner.  Paper and food no
longer sprawled across the streets, and the smell of urine was gone from
the block of Nostrand Avenue between Ave H and Flatbush Avenue.  The large
parking lot on Ave H no longer had the twirling gusts of Plastic bags
floating through it.  In general, I actual was happy to shop on Flatbush
Avenue again. 

But this improvement seems to have been sort lived.  As if timed perfectly
for the beginning the the Democratic challengers get together in Midtown
last week, the sanitation department have taken the week off again in it's
street cleanup at the Junction.  Garbage is all over the place again.  It
is piled up at behind store fronts, and Ave H, down Hillel Street and in
the Train Station.  If not for the City Buses, you would not know there
was a municipal presence at all on the intersection.  Boxes are piled
chest high on the LIRR overpass again and there is not a single sanitation
worker in sight. 

Is this a preview of the upcoming election season.  I hope not.

New Yorkers can not be held hostage to election politics by paid city
workers.  Nor can they be besieged by city workers who overtly campaign
for one candidate or the other while they are on the job.  The job of city
workers is to deliver city services without bias, everywhere in the city. 
It's hard enough that Brooklyn often winds up behind in the city services
game without having the problem compounded by job actions for on candidate
of the over.  I expect to see the Junction, and every other city street
effectively cleaned by the sanitation department regardless of who is in
office and what time of the year it is.  If there are city workers with a
problem with this, then the Mayor needs to fire them. 

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