De Blasio Staffers Play Cards, Watch Netflix, Await Assignments

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 11:23 AM

By Courtney Coren

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More than a dozen staffers hired to work for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are sitting around playing cards and viewing Netflix, among other things, while they wait for city job assignments — three weeks after the new mayor took office.

The New York Post reported Tuesday that more than a dozen staffers were sitting around 253 Broadway, across from City Hall, filling their time by watching movies, skimming Facebook, shopping, learning a second language, and betting on how late the new mayor would be to his next press conference, a source said.

The Post is now saying that the number of bored staffers seems to be growing to about 20, according to a reporter.

"They're very demoralized, very frustrated, and very bored," the source told the Post. "There's a lot of tension because none of them knows what's happening.

"It's like come on — you could have figured this out a long time ago."

Even though they have nothing to do, they are still getting paid, as they sit around a room with a sign that says, "Temporary Office Space for Incoming City Hall Staff."

Many of them worked for the mayor when he was the New York City Public Advocate. Others came on board during his campaign.

"It really plays into the notion [de Blasio is] dragging his heels," the source said. "He's leaving so many people hanging who have been loyal to him for so long."

These aides aren't the only ones waiting for work, according to the Post.

The departments of Buildings, Parks, City Planning and Housing Authority are all functioning without commissioners, while the Fire Department, Sanitation, and the Office of Emergency Management are all being run by temporary commissioners left over from the last administration.

Officials from the mayor's office confirmed that there are some staffers still waiting for assignments, but say that they've been working on the transition or for the administration.

Staffers say they've only been given occasional assignments they would categorize as busywork.

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