PR machine has a break down
Nov 20, 2012 | 2437 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Borough President Helen Marshall just can’t catch a break.

Over the summer, there were a lot of news reports critical of Marshall’s presence in the borough and her overall job performance. One particularly damning article – we believe it was in the Post – delved extensively into the issue, calling up Marshall and grilling her about the criticism.

Marshall admitted that over the summer she wasn’t a regular presence at Borough Hall or making the customary appearances at parades and ribbon-cuttings, but the reason was that she was caring for her ill husband and that her staff was keeping her informed and up to date.

More importantly, though, the scuttlebutt around the borough was that Marshall was not only neglecting her duties as figurehead for the borough, but also ignoring the more weighty issues affecting the people of Queens.

It only reinforced Marshall’s unfortunate reputation as the prime example for people who have been calling for an end to the post of borough president, which has effectively become a powerless position save for allocating some city funding that comes the office’s way each fiscal year.

Today, the most important aspect of the office is being an outspoken advocate for the borough, which you can’t really do effectively if you stop making public appearances.

So we kind of figured we knew what was going on in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, when our email inbox was bombarded with photos from Marshall’s office touring storm-damaged neighborhoods throughout Queens.

We are talking about three or four photos a day from an office that, before the criticism started this past summer, we barely heard from in about three months.

There was no way that Marshall was going to let people claim she was sleeping on the job in the aftermath of one of the most devastating storms to ever hit the borough.

It apparently didn’t work.

Last week, NY1 decided to revisit the issue and ran a segment interviewing people in the neighborhoods hardest hit by Sandy, asking them specifically what they thought of Marshall and her response to the storm. They didn’t have too many good things to say, with our favorite quote being that she really “needs to step up her game.”

NY1 even dissected the official website of the Borough President’s Office, noting there was next to no information about Hurricane Sandy, accessing aid or relief efforts.

Although, NY1 did note Marshall’s Facebook page had a lot of hurricane-related info, and one community board head interviewed for the report said that Marshall’s office has been responsive every time he called.

We guess all of those residents in south Queens without power weren’t getting the flurry of press releases that we were.

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