You have to hand it to Mayor de Blasio. It seems throwing people out of work instead of creating employment is his preferred way to work.
How else to explain his completely idiotic decision to introduce a bill to ban horse carriages in Central Park at the behest of an animal rights lobby that has heavily supported him.
There is also a shadowy real estate lobby involved keen to get their hands on the buildings where the horse stables are located.
The vast majority of New Yorkers, 61 percent of them to be exact, support the horse and carriage industry which directly employs 300 people, about 60 of them Irish, plus their families.
The horses are the most scrutinized animals in America.Their destination once they are taken off the streets is the knackers yard. De Blasio knows this.
He doesn’t care. Campaign donations are more important.
His derisory “offer” to give the horse and carriage drivers the opportunity to become taxi cab drivers in the outer boroughs is insulting and derogatory to the men and women who have developed the life skill of working with the beautiful animals who call Central Park home.
Currently, the horses get six weeks vacation and four medical check-ups a year. Americans of the two legged variety should be so lucky.
He is also destroying the livelihoods of hard working Irish families in the business for generations.
“Bill de Blasio isn’t just talking about taking our jobs. He’s taking our pensions, money from our families – he’s taking everything,” carriage owner Robert Boyle, a native of Co. Leitrim, told the Irish Voice recently.
Married with four children, Boyle said that he had “no idea” what he would do if the mayor makes good on his promise to take the horses off the streets.
“I thought de Blasio wanted to create jobs. But this is killing jobs,” Boyle added. The horse and carriage industry employs more than 300 people and generates millions in economic activity.
Boyle’s horse, Betty, is also a part of his family he says. They’ve been a team for six years. Betty had been abandoned in Ohio and was on the way to a Canadian slaughterhouse when Boyle rescued her.
“She’s a beauty,” said Boyle. “Does she look like an abused animal to you? We have to work under extremely tight city regulations. She gets six weeks of vacation. She has to get four medical examinations a year. Humans don’t get as much.
“The idea,” Boyle adds, “that we would tolerate the abuse of these horses is crazy. We love them to death. Horses are born to do something, not just laze around in this fantasy of green fields. She’s a proud work horse. All of our horses are.”
Tommy Hughes from Co. Armagh was also waiting for customers recently. A driver for 30 years, Hughes calls de Blasio a hypocrite because of a 2007 vote he cast in favor of the horse and carriage industry while he was a member of the City Council.
“But the so-called animal rights activists dug deep into their pockets and gave him money for his campaign, so now he’s changed,” Hughes told the Irish Voice.
“It’s all about money. It’s not about the animals at all.”
Meanwhile, Hughes and his family fret about their future.
“I have a 14-year-old daughter who wants to go to college. She’s so worried that she won’t be able to if I lose my job,” Hughes said.
“Nobody cares about what we’ll do or what will happen to us,” added Hughes.
For a so-called leftist mayor de Blasio has made it clear that the dollar triumphs the horse carriage industry in as cynical an exercise as I’ve seen in New York politics for a long time.
Shame on you Mr. Mayor!