Oh Rats! While Tackling NYC Rodent Infestation, Mayor Adams Gets Ticketed Twice
By Mindy Cohn
Mayor Eric Adams took office committed to solving three goals to make New York a "livable city," including a commitment to combat rats.
“Fighting crime, fighting inequality, and fighting rats,” Adams has said, making his war on rodents a major talking point since taking office.
Rats have been an ongoing issue in NYC, and Mayor Adams has mentioned them at least 80 times in public appearances since the middle of October.
To that end, the mayor is looking for a Director of Rodent Mitigation to spearhead the never-ending battle against the City's rats. He is even willing to pay up to $170,000 for the right candidate, perhaps because he is a mayor who understands the problem given his own numerous summonses for rat issues, including his most recent one in December for a rat infestation outside his own Brooklyn brownstone.
One prevention measure made by the mayor was announced in October when the City limited the number of hours residents could leave trash outside for collection day. Instead of 4 p.m., residents can only bring their garbage to the curb at 8 p.m. This new rule takes effect on April 1, 2023, and will limit the number of hours food will be free for the taking for the evergrowing rat population.
So while Mayor Adams having rat issues is headline news, experts agree that the fact is, rats are an ongoing issue for all New Yorkers that needs to be dealt with in a holistic and not personal case-by-case fashion.
Gothamist reports that Adams received two $300 summonses after a visit on December 7 from a City health department inspector. The inspector reported finding a rat burrow, fresh rat droppings, and an active rat runway along the mayor's property line.
Additionally, Adams received and contested a summons and fine over an infestation at a Brooklyn rental property he owns. Adams assured the agency he would take sufficient steps to combat the rats by spending $7,000 on countermeasures.
Inspectors have found rats outside the home for the fifth time since 2018, according to records from OpenData.
"I am concerned that, despite previously spending nearly $7,000 on rat mitigation efforts, I received two new summonses on the same day, even though a neutral hearing officer found that I 'demonstrate[d] sufficient steps taken … to prevent and control infestation at [my] property," Adams declared in a statement. "I will again challenge these violations and show that rats don't run this City."
According to NYC's Rat Information Portal, other homeowners in the area are also dealing with this issue. Eleven properties on the same block as the mayor's home also failed recent rat inspections.