Local politicians from The Bronx to Staten Island blasted Mayor Bill de Blasio’s middle of the workday walks exposed by The Post Thursday as evidence of a lack of leadership at City Hall during the coronavirus pandemic and related budget crisis.
“These aimless strolls may be an apt metaphor for the aimless and rudderless leadership in New York City,” said Bronx Democratic Councilman Ritchie Torres, who recently won a competitive Democratic primary for New York’s 15th congressional district.
“Change can’t come soon enough,” he said, in a reference to de Blasio being term-limited out of office in 2021.
Since giving up on Park Slope YMCA workouts when COVID-19 shut down all gyms, Hizzoner has taken twice-daily meanderings including 30-minute loops through Lower Manhattan in the mornings and hour-plus jaunts around his old Brooklyn neighborhood in the early afternoon.
Torres’ council colleague, Robert Holden from Queens, said de Blasio’s solo walkabouts show how his administration is unraveling.
“Things are not going his way and staffers who have jumped ship have nothing good to say about their experiences under his regime. I guess it gets terribly lonely at the top. Sad,” Holden said.
And bitter rivals for another House seat, GOP challenger Nicole Malliotakis and incumbent Democrat Max Rose, agreed on one thing — de Blasio’s not up to the challenge of bringing the Big Apple back.
“If he’s going to be spending this much time aimlessly walking, just walk away and don’t come back. Then we can get to work fixing this city a year earlier,” Rose told The Post.
Added Malliotakis: “Typical Bill de Blasio, go for a leisurely stroll while the city crumbles.”
Regular New Yorkers also weighed in on the mayor’s lengthy strolls.
“We have a crisis going on and to see that is just a disgrace,” fumed Daniel Hutchins, 33, an Astoria, Queens resident who owns a moving company and moonlights as a musician.
“Where everyone else is doubling down on work because of what is going on and he just seems to live in la la land. Everybody sees the same thing. This is something we can all agree that he is a complete disgrace,” Hutchins said.
Edgar Armijo, 26, who was installing a hardwood floor in Park Slope where the mayor often stops at a local cafe to enjoy a pastry before heading in the park, shook his head in disbelief at Hizzoner’s routine.
“I don’t know man,” Armijo said, wiping his caulk-caked hands on his jeans.
“Maybe just take an hour for lunch? I think he’s lazy. People work too hard in this city for that.”
The notoriously tardy and indecisive de Blasio insisted during a City Hall press briefing Thursday — which started 30 minutes late — that he’s got to take hour-plus, midday rambles to do his job.
“Walking is very calming and a lot of times when I’m dealing with complicated decisions I actually prefer to walk during a conference call,” Hizzoner said when tossed a gentle, leading question about The Post’s story on his new exercise routine.
A 1010 WINS reporter had asked the mayor if he was using the walks to deal with the stress of his position.
“I find that the process of walking is calming, it’s clarifying, it helps you think through stuff,” de Blasio said, seemingly glad for the cover.
Additional reporting by Larry Celona and Lorena Mongelli
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