There will be a marathon and 'no diversion of resources,' says Bloomberg
The marathon will move forward, and "there will be no diversion of resources" away from services to victims of Hurricane Sandy, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg today at a press conference in City Hall.
"If I thought it took any resources away from that, we would not do this," he said, referring to recovery operations. "But we have plenty of police officers that work in areas that aren't affected. We don't take all of them and move them into areas that are affected."
The mayor's decision to proceed with the marathon, which requires heavy logistical cooperation from the city, has sparked outrage in Staten Island, where police are still finding bodies, and opposition from some elected officials, some of whom seem to be reacting in real time to the public's displeasure.
The mayor did not respond to a question from a reporter about how many city employees would be working to support the marathon.
This morning, I emailed both his spokesman, Marc LaVorgna, and the New York Roadrunners Club, the organization that puts on the marathon, to ask how many police and other city personnel would be needed for the marathon.
I got no response.
"As Rudy Giuliani said to me this morning, he said, 'You know, right after 9/11, people said exactly the same thing,'" said the mayor. "New York has to show that we are here and that we're going to recover and that we can, while we help people, still help companies that need the business, still generate a tax base, so that we have the resources to help people. And give people something to cheer about, in what's been a very dismal week for a lot of people."
"I think Rudy had it right," says Bloomberg.
In the past Ms. Wittenberg said the race has used 1,500 police officers. However, she said the race has increasingly relied on private resources, a factor that has helped drive registration fees for U.S. residents that aren't members of New York Road Runners to $255.