Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg offered an extensive and full-throated defense of his decision to hold the New York City Marathon on Sunday. “We have to have a city going forward,” the mayor said, adding, “New York has to show that we are here, that we are going to recover.”
Mr. Bloomberg said the marathon would use “a relatively small amount of Sanitation Department resources,” and he added that there were plenty of police officers available “who work in areas that aren’t affected; we don’t take all of them and move them into areas that are affected.” The marathon would “give people something to cheer about,” the mayor said. “It’s been a dismal week for a lot of people.”
But even as Mr. Bloomberg made his remarks, there were signs that the opposition to the marathon plans were continuing to grow. The city’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio, who had originally supported the mayor’s decision, e-mailed during the mayor’s briefing to say he had changed his mind. “The needs are simply too great to divert any resources from the recovery,” Mr. de Blasio wrote. “We need to postpone the marathon and keep our focus where it belongs: on public safety and vital relief operations.”
And Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, who had remained silent on the issue until Friday, also decided to weigh in against the plan. “The decision to move forward with the marathon is not a decision I would have made,” Ms. Quinn said.
For his part, Mr. Bloomberg said the city had a responsibility to “help companies that need the business, to still generate a tax base,” and he evoked the example of former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s decisions in the months after the 9/11 terror attacks.
“I think Rudy had it right,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “You keep going; you have to do things. You can grieve, you can cry, you can laugh, all at the same time. That’s what human beings are good at.”