I want to apologize to you for the miserable job we did on the blizzard. We made a mess out of the city and you have every reason to be angry at me.
President Harry Truman said: “The buck stops here” – at his desk. He made no excuses for failures in his administration. He recognized that he was the person responsible for everything that went wrong.
When the New York Times says that, whatever the outcome of the investigations of what went wrong in the way we handled the blizzard, “may the storm at least spell the end of the mayor’s use of weary sarcasm as a response to the legitimate concerns of citizens -- particularly in neighborhoods that now seem even farther from Gracie Mansion,” they're right.
When I suggested early in the crisis that, in effect, people should stop whining and go to the park and enjoy the snow or take in a Broadway show, I was being insensitive. How can you go to a Broadway show when your driveway is snowed under? And, besides, now that I think about it, how many New Yorkers can afford the price of a ticket to a Broadway show?
Some critics think I’m elitist. Well, maybe I am. I ought to think about that. I want to thank all the critics, including the New York Times, which did a detailed story on the inaction and delays of the city administration, for pointing out our flaws. We’ll try to do better in the future. Particularly I want to make sure I encourage the people who work for me to tell me what’s going on even if it conflicts with what I may be telling the press.
I am especially regretful about the tragedies that occurred during the storm. I resolve that it will never happen again.
It’s been hard to say mea culpa. But I will say it plainly to you today -- I am sorry, sorry, sorry, very sorry. I apologize to all of you and I’ll try to do better in the future. After all, I’m not perfect. I hope you will forgive me.