NYC Council Speaker Criticized for Expecting Special Treatment on Twitter

Melissa Mark-Viverito thought she could resolve a municipal issue and show her followers and constituents how close she was to the common folks:

During a morning walk through her East Harlem district on Tuesday, the speaker of the New York City Council noticed a pedestrian crossing signal hanging precariously from a light pole, partially disengaged.

She snapped a photo and posted the image in a Twitter message to the city’s Transportation Department, as any technologically savvy citizen might.

She might have been lauded for her action, but she had to respond negatively to the department’s boilerplate response:

Hours later, the department responded, as it might to any concerned citizen: Thank you for the information. Next time, call 311 for fast help.

It was not the reaction that the speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Democrat, thought she would get.

“I’m sorry … whaaaat??? This a joke?” she wrote. “Or an auto response? Or maybe even an intern? Not a response for an elected.”

That last comment appeared to suggest that Ms. Mark-Viverito had expected something more personalized and deferential from the agency’s Twitter account.

And that prompted another sort of reaction from those who found the speaker’s expectation of special treatment a little jarring.

“Their generic response is lame,” Keegan Stephan, a local activist, wrote on Twitter. “But I applaud not treating her different and her response was obnoxious & arrogant.”

Read more about it at the New York Times.

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Author: Nicholas

Experienced Mortgage Banker at Colorado State Bank and Trust. Effectively bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese. Expert on real estate market in the Front Range.

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