However, it’s a war that feels almost impossible to win as the city’s rat problem is the worst it’s been in over a decade and reports expect NYC to end 2022 with more rat sightings as compared to last year.
New trash rules proposed back in October of this year called to push back trash takeout four hours in an effort to reduce the amount of time trash sits on sidewalks, reducing food for rats and improving cleanliness.
And in December, Mayor Adams officially called for backup.
On November 30, the city published a job listing for a Citywide Director of Rodent Mitigation.
“Do you have what it takes to do the impossible? A virulent vehemence for vermin? A background in urban planning, project management, or government? And most importantly, the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight the real enemy – New York City’s relentless rat population? If so, your dream job awaits.”
Dubbed a “rat czar” by a City Hall spokesperson, the individual will be paid a salary of $120,000 to $170,000 to develop strategies, manage projects, and use hands-on techniques to exterminate rodents with authority and efficiency.
Qualifications include NYC residency, a Bachelor’s Degree, proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
And as of Wendesday, April 12, Mayor Eric Adams appointed the best person suited for the job: Kathleen Corradi.
“In this newly created role, Corradi will coordinate across city government agencies, community organizations, and the private sector to reduce the rat population in New York City – building a cleaner, more welcoming city and tackling a major quality-of-life and health issue,” shared the press release.
Additionally, Mayor Adams announced a $3.5 million investment toward rodent mitigation in Harlem. “Kathy will take the lead on our multi-agency effort to test new mitigation techniques, expand outreach and education efforts, and increase maintenance and remediation work. The rats are going to hate Kathy, but we’re excited to have her leading this important effort,” said Mayor Adams.
NYC is the country’s second “rattiest city“ according to data recorded between September 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022, and despite their “successful public engagement strategy and cheeky social media presence” (think: the viral video of NYC’s pizza rat which inspired a fellow New Yorker to run around the subway dressed as the hungry rodent), the city is reminding us that rats are not our friends.
To quote New York City’s Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch, “the rats don’t run this city, we do.”