- The Washington Times - Friday, December 12, 2014

New York City’s Bill de Blasio, who’s put himself forth as both mayor and man “of the people” with progressive-minded principles, has nonetheless build up his privacy fence around his Gracie Mansion home.

The new fence was built up just inside the existing brick wall and wrought-iron fence that already ringed the mansion — and was actually called a “privacy fence” by Mr. de Blasio and first lady Chirlane McCray, the New York Post reported, citing sources.

One law enforcement spokesman gave his thoughts of the new fence: “So much for being mayor of the people. That brick fence was good enough for Rudy Giuliani and his family and for Ed Koch and all the mayors before him. They didn’t need a taller fence. That’s the same house where everybody else lived for years,” the New York Post reported.

Other sources told the newspaper that the mayor wanted the extra fencing because he was tired of passersby peering into the home while he was in his yard.

“He likes to sit out on the porch, and he felt like people were getting too close to him,” one said, the New York Post reported. “Some people would see him and yell, ‘Hi, Mr. Mayor!’ They weren’t being derogatory or nasty or anything.”

The Parks Department maintains the mansion, and one spokesman for the agency said the new fence was installed “due to security concerns,” the New York Post reported.

But to residents, the message the fence is sending isn’t going over well.

“The fence really turns me off because he always advertised himself as the ‘people’s mayor’ and [said] he would always make himself so available,” said Joni Dropkin, a neighbor to the Upper East Side residence, the New York Post reported. “There’s something so shady about it.”

Agence France-Presse, in a January article that included a description of Mr. de Blasio shoveling snow outside his small New York home — and telling the press to “rise up with the knees, don’t lift with your back, lift with your knees” — was referred to as a “man of the people” and a defender of the progressive minded policy.

And during his inaugural speech, Mr. de Blasio said he would put forth reforms that identified the city “not as the exclusive domain of the one percent, but a place where everyday people can afford to live, work and raise a family,” he said in January, AFP reported.

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