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New York City says enough is enough, looks to hire badass rat czar

New York City seeks to hire rat czar
New York City seeks to hire rat czar 03:15

NEW YORK -- In an ongoing effort to get ride of rodents, Mayor Eric Adams is now seeking to hire a rat czar.

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Thursday, the job posting seeks someone with a "virulent vehemence for vermin" to be the director of rodent mitigation.

Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi has an office filled with pictures of rats, which is fitting since Adams has given her the job of hiring a rat czar, someone who can mount a coordinated inter-agency effort to get rats out of the kitchens of NYCHA buildings, and all the other places where the rascally rodents disgust and disrupt the lives of New Yorkers.

"The number one quality is determination, and if you think about the possibility, this is an opportunity for someone to be an urban hero," Joshi said.

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The city is looking to find someone to address what officials believe is a top quality-of-life issue. Yes, some find it amusing to see pizza rat dragging a slice at a subway station, but there nothing funny about seeing them scampering about the city.

"It really changes the way people relate to the city if they see a rat, whether it's dead or alive. It changes the way they feel about the block they're walking on, about the park that they're in. It's a really, really deep quality-of-life condition," Joshi said.

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According to the job posting, the position of director of rodent mitigation, aka rat czar, pays between $120,000 and $170,000, and you don't have to be an exterminator. You have to be the field marshal, the general, taking the war to where the rats live.

"Testing every single kind of extermination method that's out there, being aggressive and creative about it, and understanding what are the conditions that make it easy for rats to thrive," Joshi said. "This is an exciting opportunity for someone who likes to be creative and wants to make a real difference in the lives of New Yorkers."

But it's a listing with a definite attitude -- the Adams swagger.

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The job posting says the city is looking for somebody with a swashbuckling attitude and an aura of badassery. Hey, badassery? It gave Kramer visions of an office next to the mayor with the sign "Marcia Kramer, Rat Czar."

"So, madam deputy mayor, can I apply for this job?" Kramer asked.

"I think you meet all of the criteria, especially the badassery, so, yes, please do apply," Joshi said.

Not to worry, CBS2, Kramer would rather ask questions than hunt rats, but she wanted to know how with the city's fiscal problems and job cutbacks it can afford a rat czar.

"If you hire a very skilled coordinator, a motivated person, it's amazing what that investment creates for all of New Yorkers," Joshi said.

In a statement, Mayor Adams said, "There's nothing I hate more than rats. Getting our city clean and ridding our streets of these filthy creatures are key to our recovery."

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