Wanted: A “somewhat bloodthirsty” individual with a “killer instinct” and a “swashbuckling attitude.”
Nope. It’s not casting call for a murderous and revengeful pirate. Rather, it’s an opening for someone to take on New York City’s ridiculously out-of-control rat infestation.
Brown rats have been a blight on the Big Apple for more than a century, despite many attempts to eradicate them. And now, city officials are seeking a “rat czar” to help keep the pests in check.
“The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty.”
The role is described as “a 24/7 job” for those with a “swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor and general aura of badassery.”
And because the role will be a huge undertaking, the job offers a pretty handsome paycheque — whoever is awarded the role can make up to C$228,000 in salary.
Interested applicants will have to meet a list of requirements, including a bachelor’s degree and five to eight years of relevant experience, preferably in public policy. Government experience and a proven track record in project management and/or urban planning are also considered assets.
The post says the ideal candidate should possess the “stamina and stagecraft” to defeat an army of rats, described as “cunning, voracious, and prolific.”
“Despite their successful public engagement strategy and cheeky social media presence, rats are not our friends — they are enemies that must be vanquished by the combined forces of our city government.
“New York City’s rats are legendary for their survival skills, but they don’t run this city — we do.”
According to the New York Times, Adams has somewhat of a “fixation” on the city’s rat problem. The paper reports that in the first 11 months on the job he devoted at least six announcements to anti-rat efforts.
And let’s not forget the time when, as Brooklyn borough president, he unveiled a rat trap designed to lure rats in with the smell of food before drowning them in booze.
In October, the city announced a new “war on rats” that has brought mixed reviews and results. They’ve installed street-wide storage bins and have set new rules about when and how garbage can be put out for collection.
New York is the country’s “second-rattiest” city, according to pest control company Orkin’s most recent annual rankings. (The top honour goes to Chicago.)
As of October, New York’s sanitation department reported more than 21,600 rat complaints in 2022.
Whoever takes the job as rat czar will definitely have their work cut out for them. It’s estimated that New York City is home to two million of the pests.