New York City flip-flops on closing Trump-operated skating rinks

Political News

It was only two days ago that we discussed the pathetic decision by Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council to immediately cancel the contracts held by the Trump organization in Central Park and close the two skating rinks being operated there. At the time, I pointed out that the real losers in all of this were the children and families who enjoyed skating, particularly during a pandemic when many other activities are closed or operating on reduced hours and capacity. Well, somebody must have given the Mayor an earful because less than 48 hours later the cancellation was, er… canceled. The rinks will remain open for the duration of the ice skating season and they will still be operated by the Trump operation. (NY Post)

The city is doing a full “180” on its plan to shutter Trump-operated ice skating rinks.

City Hall on Sunday reversed Mayor de Blasio’s move to shutter Lasker and Wollman rinks in Central Park six weeks ahead of their typical April closing dates — in an effort to freeze-out his political rival.

“New York City kids deserve all the time on the ice they can get this year. The Wollman and Lasker rinks will stay open under current management for the few weeks left in this season,” City Hall Press Secretary Bill Neidhardt told The Post.

“But make no mistake, we will not be doing business with the Trump Organization going forward. Inciting an insurrection will never be forgotten or forgiven.”

I’m guessing you can’t wait to hear the response from Eric Trump, right? He must be gloating and grinning from ear to ear after seeing de Blasio have to back down like that. You know how mean those Trump men are. He’s probably calling the Mayor every name in the book. But we’d be wrong if we assumed that. Eric Trump quickly responded in just about the most pleasant and professional way possible.

@NYCMayor Mr. Mayor – Thank You for keeping Wollman and Lasker Rinks open — you’ve just made countless NYC families (along w our 250 employees) incredibly happy. This is a bright moment for New York and please know we appreciate it. I look forward to saying ‘thanks’ in person,”

So how did this happen? There are really only two likely causes here. One possibility is that City Hall began fielding a storm of complaints from angry parents over the sudden closure of the rinks. Bill de Blasio isn’t running for another term as mayor, but plenty of people in his orbit and on the City Council still have to face the voters again in the fall. This might have just been a case or realizing too late precisely how badly you’ve screwed the pooch.

The other possibility is that someone put a bug in the Mayor’s ear about Eric Trump’s threatened breach of contract lawsuit and the likelihood that the city would lose that fight badly. If there’s anything more embarrassing than having to back down on your childish threat to “punish” the Trump family it’s the idea of the city having to write them a fat check for tens of millions of dollars when the city’s budget is already going up in flames.

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This has just been yet another sad, tone-deaf episode of New York City politics. Everything is driven by personalities most of the time and the Mayor believes he has to be constantly at war with Donald Trump in order to impress his supporters. Unfortunately for him, he completely missed the mark in this episode and has been forced to walk back his promised retribution in a very public way.

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