“I Hate Rats,” Declares NYC’s First Rat Czar, Who May Earn Up to $170,000

The mayor dubbed rats “public enemy number one.”

Seeing a rat scurry across a New York City subway platform feels like a rite of passage for some, but with rat sightings nearly doubling in the last year, the Big Apple has taken a big step to combat its rodent epidemic. The City of New York officially hired Kathleen Corradi as its first ever director of rodent mitigation, or what some folks are calling the NYC “rat czar.”

“New York City has done a lot recently when it comes to fighting public enemy number one: rats,” stated New York Mayor Eric Adams during a press conference on Apr. 12. “It was clear we needed someone solely focused on leading our rat reduction efforts across all five boroughs.”

A formal job posting for director of rodent mitigation first popped up December 2022 (it has since been removed). It required candidates to have five to eight years of relevant professional experience, but also sought applicants who were “highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty” and who also possessed “a swashbuckling attitude…a general aura of badassery” and “crafty humor” according to People.

Adams himself referred to Corradi as “New York City’s first-ever ‘rat czar,'” and that the chosen candidate has “the knowledge, drive, experience, and energy to send rats packing and create a cleaner, more welcoming city for all New Yorkers.”

Corradi’s background isn’t particularly rat-focused. However, she did manage, direct, and develop plans and programs as a former elementary teacher and Brooklyn Botanic Garden program lead. A “somewhat bloodthirsty” former elementary school teacher sure sounds terrifying, and we’re hoping those rats take notice.

According to the posting’s listed salary, she could be paid as much as $170,000 for the task, which frankly, given the task, seems underpaid.

“You’ll be seeing a lot of me and a lot less rats,” she stated at the press conference. “He [Eric Adams] hates rats, I hate rats, every New Yorker hates rats.”

NBC 4 reported that the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) compiled data outlining the seriousness of the city’s rat takeover, especially in recent years. According to their data, city health inspectors documented about 60,000 instances of rodent activity in the past year alone, up from approximately 30,000 in 2021.

Residents and business owners speculated to NBC that the rapid rat increases have been a result of life resuming back to normal after the effects of the pandemic. Others “blamed construction activity for disturbing rodent burrows,” forcing rats out of the shadows to find new abodes.

Adams explained that Corradi “will take the lead on our multi-agency effort to test new mitigation techniques, expand outreach and education efforts, and increase maintenance and remediation work.”

One of her first “missions” will focus on rodent mitigation, with help from a $3.5 million investment from the city.

“The rats are going to hate Kathy,” Adams said. “But we’re excited to have her leading this important effort.”

Katka Lapelosova
Kat is a born and raised New Yorker exploring the world as she writes, eats, and everything in between. Read more
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