The Big Apple finally has a rat czar — at least if you ask Curtis Sliwa.
The red beret-wearing founder of the Guardian Angels said Thursday that he accepts Mayor Adams’ offer to become the city’s chief rodent exterminator, though he lamented the way in which the mayor floated the job to him.
“I accept the appointment as rat czar, even though it’s done very sarcastically, with a lot of derision and in a demeaning way,” Sliwa, a Republican who lost to Adams in the 2021 mayoral race, said on his WABC radio show. “I am on my rat patrol.”
Adams spokesman Fabien Levy quickly threw cold water on Sliwa’s rat czar dreams, though, saying the mayor only offered him the opportunity to apply for a rodent enforcement-related internship, not the top spot.
“Curtis Sliwa has yet to apply to be our rat intern. We know he’s not experienced enough for the position, but that hasn’t stopped him from seeking a job before,” Levy said.
The bizarre rat-a-tat-tat between Adams and Sliwa started earlier this week after the Daily News reported that for the second time in less than a year, the mayor was fined for not taking care of a rodent infestation at his Brooklyn rowhouse.
In response to the report, Sliwa said Tuesday he’s all ears about taking on the citywide rat czar job that Adams is creating as part of a campaign to curb an uptick in rodent sightings. Sliwa said he’d even take the job in an unpaid capacity and Adams told reporters that’d be fine with him.
“Tell Curtis to come be my rat czar, OK?” Adams said. “And he’s going to realize that this is not a Tom & Jerry playful commercial. This is real stuff.
“He can be part of our internship program, because I know he’s probably been looking for a job since he lost the job that he was trying to get,” Adams added.
In his Thursday radio appearance, Sliwa scoffed at Adams’ comments.
“I know it’s real stuff, Eric. I grew up in this city,” he said. “Take a chill pill, Eric, you’re not an expert on everything in the city. Stop being obstinate, stop being pretentious, thinking you know it all, you don’t. I know more about rats than you do.”
Sliwa stood outside the mayor’s Bedford-Stuyvesant home Wednesday to bring attention to Adams’ latest rodent-related tickets.
The cat lover and animal rights activist took several felines with him and proposed to foster a “feral” cat colony in the neighborhood to crack down on the rats scurrying about the mayor’s property.
Sliwa has a theory about why the pest problem is persisting at the mayor’s pad.
“The mayor’s block is a mess. There’s garbage everywhere,” he said on the radio. “It needs a good sweep, a good hose-down and it needs to be kept that way because that’s what will help keep the rats and the mice at bay.”