The city’s sorry sewage slam on us

When a wayward child gets caught doing something wrong, or failing to do something he was supposed to do, he might immediately blame someone else, revealing the immaturity and lack of responsibility his parents are hoping he’ll soon outgrow.

And so it is with our city government.

When dozens of homes in South Ozone Park were flooded with toxic sewage just after Thanksgiving, the Department of Environmental Protection’s first inclination was to blame we the people, speculating that a “fatburg” created by residents’ holiday cooking grease had clogged the system.

Why not? For one, clogs caused by grease and other crud do gum up sewer pipes — though they don’t seem to cause the degree of damage people suffered just over a month ago. The bigger reason for the DEP reaction is that shifting blame is what this administration does, whether it’s about lead paint in public housing, children killed by their own parents while supposedly under city supervision, racial and ethnic gaps in education, the alleged “pass them no matter what” policy at some schools, the taxing, the spending, and so on.

As SOP resident Grace Johnson said of the city’s sewage blame game, “That was hurtful. We knew that wasn’t true.”

The real culprit was a broken main.

We’ll give the city credit for its response to the crisis, once it saw how bad it was. But where’s the apology? Or rather, apologies: One for not maintaining the sewers and another for deciding, like that little boy, to blame someone else when things went south. Where?