According to CNBC, the NYC’s Mayor’s Office posted a job listing this week for a “citywide director of rodent mitigation,” or as a spokesperson for the city called it, “a rat czar.”
In addition to developing strategies, managing projects, and leading teams against rodents, the director will receive an annual salary of between $120,000 and $170,000.
Pest control company Orkin recently ranked New York as the second-rattiest city in the country. The sanitation department of New York has reported more than 21,600 rat complaints in 2022, a dramatic increase over pre-pandemic levels.
Social media is frequently flooded with videos of rats dragging pizza down streets and sidewalks in the city.
In Manhattan’s West Village, passersby and the store manager were even surprised to see a large rat window shopping in Il Bisonte, a luxury leather store.
A rat czar appears to be of particular interest to Mayor Eric Adams.
On Thursday, he tweeted an article about the position, writing: “If you have the drive, determination, and killer instinct needed to fight New York City’s relentless rat population — then your dream job awaits.”
Recently, Adams signed four bills that created rat mitigation zones, codified garbage collection times, and reduced rats in buildings that are prone to rat infestations. These bills build on legislation that Adams signed in October to reduce rats and trash on the streets.
Rats have been a problem in New York City for years, but the pandemic has made the situation worse. The city’s sanitation department has received more than 21,600 rat complaints this year, and videos of rats dragging pizza down the streets are becoming all too common. However, the mayor’s office’s job listing for a “citywide director of rodent mitigation for a salary of between $120,000 and $170,000 per year has some people thinking that’s a lot of money to pay someone to get rid of rats. But, when you consider the damage rats can do to property and the spread of disease they can cause, it makes the position somewhat valid. Maybe if the Mayor’s office put this much effort in solving the crime and homelessness crisis, then the city would be bearable despite the rodents.