New York City, NY – The decision to hold the NYC Marathon after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy is drawing backlash from some local officials and distraught residents. Photos of two massive generators moved to Central Park appeared on Fox News Friday morning. The images fueled the heated debate brewing over the diversion of needed resources and personnel away from the federal disaster area.
Some runners signed up for the New York City Marathon are opting out of attending, according to the New York Times. Participants who do not agree with the decision to hold the race are prepared to wait until next year to pin a number to their back and lace up their sneakers.
Staten Island Councilman James Oddo has been an outspoken opponent of the decision to still hold the annual marathon. Oddo had this to say about the race during an interview with the New York Daily News:
“If you saw what I saw in South Beach, Midland Beach, and New Dorp Beach this morning you would know how idiotic it would be to take even one asset away from people in dire need. The notion of diverting even one police officer, one first responder, one asset away from this carnage is beyond irrational. The mayor said to me, ‘We’re not going to diminish what is happening on Staten Island.’ You know what happens on marathons – you put a cop on every corner. How are we going to have enough resources?”
New York State senator Andrew Lanza, a Republican, called the decision not to cancel the marathon infuriating. Lanza noted that many residents still have water in their homes and that families are still displaced after the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.
State Senator Kristen Gillibrand, a Democrat, agreed with the sentiments of her Staten Island peers. Gillbrand voiced her plans to discuss the matter further with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Nearly 65 percent of Staten Island homes remain without power.
Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro nearly begged for help for the area. Molinaro had this to say about Sandy’s destruction and the decision not to cancel the NYC Marathon:
“We have the worst tragedy that’s ever happened in Staten Island, and I’d say New York City, since 9/11. We need help. We need food, we need clothing, we need everything you can possibly think of. We have hundreds and hundreds of people in shelters. How do we handle them? Where do they go?”