A rat sits on the frame of an outdoor dining shack for an Upper West Side restaurant in March 2022. File Photo by Adam Schrader/UPI
Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The administration of New York City Mayor Eric Adams has listed a new job for a rat czar to tame the infamous rodent problem in the Big Apple.
The posting, which was made Wednesday, is officially seeking a "director of rodent migration" who will work to advance the city's efforts to address policy matters in the five boroughs related to curbing the recent increase of rats during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Do you have what it takes to do the impossible? A virulent vehemence for vermin? A background in urban planning, project management or government? And most importantly, the drive, determination and killer instinct needed to fight the real enemy -- New York City's relentless rat population?" the posting reads.
"If so, your dream job awaits: New York's Citywide Director of Rodent Migration."
The tongue-in-cheek posting adds that "rats are not our friend" and are "enemies that must be vanquished."
The role - with an expected pay range between $120,000 and $170,000 -- reports to the deputy mayor for operations and successful candidates are required to be a New York City resident with a bachelor's degree, at least five years of relevant experience and a "swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor and general aura of badassery."
The job posting comes as New Yorkers have increasingly complained about rats.
Data published by the city in July shows that 7,4000 calls about rat sightings were made in the first four months of 2022 alone - an increase of 60% from the same period in 2019. There are 25,000 rat sightings reported to the city in 2021.
In July, a group of New York residents filed a lawsuit seeking an end to the outdoor dining shacks built in the pandemic they say has led to a boom in rats. The eight-page lawsuit, obtained by UPI, was filed against New York State and New York City in the state's Supreme Court.
The residents said the Temporary Outdoor Restaurant program implemented in June 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to "increased and excessive noise, traffic congestion, garbage and uncontrolled rodent populations and the blocking of sidewalks and roadways."
The lawsuit was filed after the New York City Council in February passed legislation to form a permanent program to keep outdoor dining, which had been created as a temporary solution to help restaurants struggling because of lockdown restrictions.
Since those lockdown restrictions have long since been lifted, the New Yorkers said that the city is "abusing its authority" to continue allowing the dining shacks -- many of which have fallen into various states of disrepair.
"Pre-pandemic, I enjoyed my neighborhood's charm, clean and quaint tree-lined streets, parks, and peacefully working in my garden," Brooklyn resident Angela Bilotti said in her affidavit filed with the lawsuit.
"The sheds filling the streets have become nesting grounds for rats. Litter lines the streets as rats tear open the piles of trash left beside the sheds. Storm water collects at the shed walls becoming mosquito breeding grounds, and the stench is horrendous."