Streams

30 Issues Day 2: The Bloomberg Years

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In the sweeping biography Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics The New York Times' Joyce Purnick examines his life from childhood in Boston through his latest term as Mayor. She reviews the Bloomberg record, and what's at stake in this Fall's election. How do you assess the Bloomberg record? Post your top two and bottom two Bloomberg moments. Comment below!

Guests:

Joyce Purnick

Comments [71]

Kevin from Astoria from Astoria

Mayor Bloomberg may have many fine personal qualities. And he certainly has smarts, but the obscene amount of money spent to win his office has NYC distorted local political life. I give Thompson creatit just for standing up to this torrent of money.

Sep. 22 2009 05:51 PM
Paulette from NYC

What an excellent point, “Bloomberg thinks like a developer not an urban planner” This is short cited of him, being a real estate professional(who has been wking in urban development in recent years) we’ve witnessed what a capitalist/developer driven housing industry has taken us to in nyc. Can you clarify what actually went down what incentives and tax breaks he gave developers?

In recent years many nyc ethnic neighborhoods began to gentrify, Harlem (a good example) with luxury housing (now empty luxury housing) developers hoping to capitalize on young white professionals, has left very little opportunity for middle class/lower middle class and the original community occupants displaced. From where I stand it has only created hostility not diversity, especially now during the economical downturn. It's almost like these developers were in a "get rich scheme" with Bloomberg as a partner.

This is irresponsible of Bloomberg, not only has it built unaffordable housing for the locals it created a myth you can't make a profit on middle class and lower middle class housing. BUT YOU CAN! There is a demand. I haven’t heard of a progressive plan from Bloomberg on fair housing, is there?

Sep. 22 2009 12:46 PM
Gregg from Manhattan

How about digging up the sound clip from his first campaign where he says he is only spending obscene amounts of money because he is an unknown, and that if he had to spend that again to get reelected, then something would be very wrong.

Mayor mike spent much more on his second run, and will very likely spend even more than that this time.

The only reason Bloomberg is mayor and will remain mayor is that he is paying over $100 per vote.

Yes, Mike, something is very wrong.

Sep. 22 2009 12:31 PM
Anonyme

i think mike is a fascist in a moderate's clothing and Bill Thompson is not stupod, knows NY's money story - I say give him a chance to give NY a chance!

Sep. 22 2009 12:21 PM
Anonyme

how about giving homeless people one-way tickets to France! I had to laugh when the French gave them one way tickets back to NY!

Sep. 22 2009 12:19 PM
stuart from upper west side

regarding response # 60 - with all his money, why can't Bloomberg find someone who can actually read from the script and sound authentic? and why do we continue to receive these campaign calls if we say he cannot count on our vote?

also, overcrowding in the schools: why is there a rule that allows a student (and the student's younger siblings) to stay in a highly regarded elementary school if their family moves out of the district or borough?

Sep. 22 2009 12:15 PM
Marjorie J. Clarke Ph.D from Inwood

I see a circularity of what the media covers and what listeners comment about, and then which ones of those get mentioned on the air. The subjects that the media does not cover, including, for example, NYC's poor Sanitation record and post 9/11 environmental health choices (see my comments above around #6), are unknown to most of the population Because they are not covered by the media. Those professionals in the field do know, but the media only listen to limited sources. Today's program did not bring up anything new; it was a hackneyed repetition of what the media covered over the last 8 years. I hope that this circularity can be examined and that there can be some introspection here about this medium's decisions to not cover certain information in favor or repeating a limited amount of information over and over.

Sep. 22 2009 12:08 PM
Anonyme

3-1-1 is merde!!! It's a customer service line full of people who can't do anything for you adn make you wait for nothing - i'd call it a pacifier except it doesn't really pacify

Sep. 22 2009 12:08 PM
S. Telcher from NY, NY

The wonderful school system that Mayor Bloomberg has taken under his ermine wings features schools without computers, in Manhattan and Brooklyn as well. (One such high school in Manhattan is billed as a communications arts school.) How are students from homes of modest means to stay competitive with their more privileged peers without accessibility to the internet and general computer skills?

Sep. 22 2009 12:05 PM
Micahe D. D. White from Brooklyn

Regarding your sound clips. One you left out was Bloomberg's rambling statement when he signed his term limits extension bill into law where he focused on overcoming opposition to development as a reason he needed his third term. Part of what he said (though he was not accurate):

"I do think that if you take a look at the real world, of how long it takes to do things; we live in a litigious society, we live in a society where we have real democracy and lots of people have the ability to INPUT their views and approve or disapprove projects."

From: Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Remembering; Not Forgetting in Chinatown
http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2008/11/remembering-not-forgetting-in-chinatown.html

Michael D. D. White
Noticing New York
http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/

Sep. 22 2009 12:04 PM
jack from park slope

Guns -- Bloomberg has been great on guns!!!

worst -- Olympics/West Side Stadium -- waste of time

Sep. 22 2009 11:56 AM
Independent Observer

Please mention the campaign calls from Bloomberg using _spoofed_ caller I.D. '917-000-000' (Just Google it)

How would the Mayor like to receive such calls in his home?

Sep. 22 2009 11:55 AM
Gregg from Manhattan

Why does no one talk about how the supposed financial genius failed to predict the collapse of 2008, and failed to insulate the city economy? Bloomberg actually parroted the Bush Admin's "no one could have anticipated" line, even though anyone paying attention was raising red flags at least 18 months earlier?

Ask how it is that Bloomberg is one of the very few whose fortunes have increased during this collapse--might it be because Bloomberg LLC was the prime seller of the computing power necessary to manage CDOs, and so aggressively marketed the exotic debt repackaging that played a central role in bringing about our current financial woes?

Sep. 22 2009 11:55 AM
Teresa from New York

Regarding public school education- Bloomberg may have improved the schools, but fewer than 60% of public school kids graduate and I would imagine that a large chunk of that percentage comes from wealthier school districts. The state of our public schools isn't something the mayor should be boasting about. It's an abomination given the amount of money that's spent on each student.

Sep. 22 2009 11:54 AM
Smokey from LES

Best: 1 million new trees and all the refurbished parks! And he doesn't talk down to us.

Sep. 22 2009 11:54 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I want to thank Marjorie J. Clarke [4, 5] for laying out what Bloomberg did to the recycling program in NYC. I'll add that we used to be able to recycle all #1 & 2 plastics, & now it's only narrow-necked bottles & jars.

2nd bad thing: After Bloomberg took office, I heard from housing activists how much they appreciated that the new mayor actually met with & listened to them, after years of being shut out by Giuliani. 2 or 3 years later, that enthusiasm was gone. He may have listened, but the housing problems, esp. for homeless people, hadn't gotten any better.

I wanted to keep it to 2, but I can't leave out the awful way he handled the Republican convention in '04. (I had a sign that said, "This entire *country* is a free speech zone!")

Good things: 311, posting of calorie/fat content in restaurants (I thought sodium wasn't included, but Ms. Purnick seemed to imply it was--if not, it should be!).

Sep. 22 2009 11:51 AM
Russ Mehlman from Brooklyn

He's independent and not beholden to special interests, simply because he is the special interest.

Sep. 22 2009 11:49 AM
Lori from Montclair, NJ

He may not be that likable at times, but he is, apparently, highly competent.

Given the state of the economy, isn't competence the more important issue? He's outspoken against guns and he DOES a lot on the subject.

Yes, he's rich, but why is that a crime? He earned it based on his own hard work and intellect and he gives a lot of it away. The bottom line is that it insulates him from the corruption we see all the time in New Jersey.

Sep. 22 2009 11:48 AM
Geoffrey Abrams from chelsea

I am in mild shcock that after listening to you and Ms Purnick discuss Mr Bloomberg for almost 40 minutes now, there has been no mention of the 2004 Perublican Convention at Madsison Square Garden. During such conventions, the US constitution is predicate for the peoples right to peacefully demonstrate. There were hundreds of thousands of people wanting the Republicans to know how they felt about Mr Bush's war and the many thousands of deaths caused by it. Mr Bloomberg forbade their demonstrating in or near the Garden and also from demonstrating in Central Park because the 'grass had been recently seeded.' He had many hundreds arrested for attempting to demonstrate and had them held unlawfully prior to arraignment as was found by Judge John Cataldo of the NYS Supreme Court.
Have you and Ms Purnick totally forgotten all this? I expected better from the 2 of you.

Sep. 22 2009 11:47 AM
Nonprofit Fundraiser

As a fundraiser for a nonprofit that received funds from Carnegie, I'm disappointed by the mixing of private and public monies. It's rewarding to know that Bloomberg supports cultural organizations in New York, and it says a lot about this administration, but if he cares about culture in New York, why circumvent the Dept. of Cultural Affairs process? Why not find and allocate city money to do the job? it only undermines the City's commitment to its culturals.

It makes it hard to imagine New York being committed to its cultural organizations in the long-term.

Sep. 22 2009 11:47 AM
Robots Need 2 Party from NYC

Small "d": Yeah, that's a really "Fun" list of Bloomberg's accomplishments. The bike thing is I guess fun but something any other mayor would have done. Some public libraries staying open later is great but how much fun is that? 311 is not fun at all. Useful, maybe. The smoking ban is actually the removal of fun from inside bars to the outsideof the bars below my window. Restaurants shouldn't allow smoking to begin with, again something another mayor would also have done. In fact most of your list of "Fun" is stuff that was inevitable no matter the mayor.

Sep. 22 2009 11:45 AM
darrylayo from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The worst thing ever: arresting hundreds of protesters and bikers at the Republican National Convention and his continual persecution of the Critical Mass bikers. I'm not a radical biker, but I once went to Critical Mass to meet a friend. I saw everyone around me arrested in the scariest display of police authority I've ever witnessed--it didn't look or feel like America. I was spared (the cops had selected which riders they would arrest), but I refused to even ride my bike in the City on Fridays after that.

Paradoxically, he's been one of the biggest supporters of bike safety lanes and positive systems in other facets. Any facet besides riding at one time that seems to send him into a blind rage.

Sep. 22 2009 11:45 AM
Matt from Bushwick

That's a New York Observer reporter he yelled at (I think)

Sep. 22 2009 11:43 AM
Cesar from Manhattan

QUESTION: How is the financial influence of billionaires in the political sandbox (Bloomberg, Corzine, etc.) any different from pay-to-play?

Sep. 22 2009 11:42 AM
Tonky from Brooklyn

BEST:

Bike Lanes
Support for Artists and cultural institutions
? Extending G trains to Chruch AVE!

WORST:

During the RNC Bloomberg illegally detained peaceful protesters for over 36 hours in a greasy bus depot.

Sep. 22 2009 11:42 AM
Mario from Washington Heights

His control over the schools, by the way, has made teacher turnover worse than ever, by declaring war on teachers and their protections rather than looking thoughtfully at educational policies. The evidence shows that in fact the schools are largely unchanged - the performance as a whole is roughly the same but the kids are now shuffled to different schools. They do better on the tests because the tests are made easier. That type of manipulation is what you get when you have control over not only the policy, but the evaluation methods.

Sep. 22 2009 11:41 AM
Mario from Washington Heights

Something very painful has happened during the Bloomberg years... this city is becoming more and more unwelcoming and hostile to the struggling working class people who have made this city wonderful for centuries - in a way that never quite happened under any other mayor. His methods are quiet: pushing through rezonings in 88 neighborhoods of the city so far - touted as 'protecting neighborhood character' but in fact they offer new opportunities for large scale development. He was lauded for cutting funding to nonprofits and then paying out of pocket to keep the organizations running... but this was in fact a very manipulative move - making these organizations dependent on Bloomberg the individual and afraid to cross him. The public-private partnerships he has expanded are pitched as a 'practical' response to a city in need of funding solutions, but they simply cut away at what little is left of 'public' in this city. Why is this city broke, by the way? We are the global headquarters of finance, insurance, real estate, publishing, media, theater, journalism, fashion, design, food; we have the wealthiest people in the world wanting to live here and pay higher prices for things than anywhere else - and yet, the city never has enough money to keep its infrastructure running decently. Does that strike anyone as illogical? Bloomberg the businessman has been quietly handing over more and more of the city to his businessman friends - tax breaks (primarily property tax) being the city's main giveaways to the corporations. This agenda is not unique to Bloomberg. But he has done this so thoroughly, and is so narrowly focused on this goal, that it is working. Poor people are simply unable to stay here, and when it comes to our neighborhoods, he is truly stripping the soul away from this city.

Sep. 22 2009 11:41 AM
Rich from Staten Island

The best: Smoking ban in bars and restaurants

The worst: Changing Term Limits. His money has corrupted the political environment in New York City. He has bought out the NY City Council.

Sep. 22 2009 11:39 AM
alp from crown heights

Top moments: PLANYC committee and resulting publicity/attention to sustainability issues.

Worst moments: His short-sighted pro-development stance that in many ways went against his PLANYC iniative and has limited affordable housing for working class NYers, uprooted long-term residents, and has supported the emergence of empty condo skeletons that are looming blights in our neighborhoods--particularly in Brooklyn.

Also, his education reforms have specifically sought to undermine the union. I feel this is a very underreported topic. In closing down the regional offices within the DOE, he required supervising administrators who wanted to maintain their leadership position within the new centralized system to forsake their union membership--even if they were a few years away from retirement. Same with the creation of the 'empowerment schools'; all school leaders: principals, assistant principals, etc. were not allowed to maintain their membership in their union. Ask anyone within the DOE system and they will tell you that many of his educational reforms are designed to break up the strength of the UFT, and other unions.

Sep. 22 2009 11:37 AM
Micahe D. D. White from Brooklyn

A good thing about Bloomberg? He gave the go ahead for 311.

An over promoted phantom benefit from Bloomberg? The quantifiable measurements used to argue that there has been significant improvement in the quality of the education children receive in schools is suspect.

Bad things about Bloomberg? Since Bloomberg started pursuing politics his reported net worth has gone up 10 times. He has gone from a moderately wealthy man to the richest New Yorker while ignoring proscriptions from the City Conflict of Interest Board about how he should not be involved with his business and its client companies, nearly all of whom also do business with the city. Bloomberg has also, since he started pursuing politics in 1977, has been using his own charities and those run under the auspices of the city for political purposes which has skewed honest debate.

The worst thing about Bloomberg: Development policies is that in addition to selling off the public realm for overdevelopment they are putting huge holes in the urban fabric and city economy. The best example of the worst? Atlantic Yards, but the list is SO long.

And yes there was the term limits override.

Michael D. D. White
Noticing New York
http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/

Sep. 22 2009 11:35 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Bloomberg has given his own money to cultural institutions through his private donations, but he has also allow public funding of these institutions from New York City government sources to be diminish greatly. He is giving one hand and taking with another.

Sep. 22 2009 11:35 AM
Jenny from NYC

The Bad
* the arrests and unlawful holding of protesters and others before and during the Republic convention was a tactic akin to China

* he did nothing to stem the greed that led to the financial crisis, yet now he says his financial experience makes him perfect for mayor at this time

* development; unequal taxing for poor, middle class, rich; etc.

* much more could have been done to level the playing field of education in this city

The Good
* cultural
* his general way of dealing with crisis and reasonable presentation of issues to the public--he is calming and likable on that level

Sep. 22 2009 11:33 AM
Stu from Manhattan

Ms.Purnick missed the point about taxes. Bloomberg's choice was not either services or raising property taxes. But raising property or returning the upper rates city income taxes to what they were pre-Guliani. Right now, an individual making $30,000 a year pays at 1/2 percent less than an individual one making a Million dollars a year. It was not that way. Returning to a genuine progressive city income tax could have reduced or even eliminated the more regressive property tax increase.

Sep. 22 2009 11:32 AM
gene

Best: smoking ban, attempts to control vehicles in city, fiscal management, sober, competent style (after all the usual NYC clowns).

Worst: term limits evasion, even though I believe a 2-term limit gives ultimate power to the (special-interest-vulnerable) staffs and lobbyists.

Sep. 22 2009 11:31 AM
Timothy from Queens

Stuytown, Stuytown, Stuytown. Giving up middle-class housing to an upper class that it quickly turned out didn't exist.

Sep. 22 2009 11:31 AM
Pete from Bronx NY

I like Bloomberg in many ways, including the achievements he claims as a result of his administration.

But he does not respect working class people as manifested in their unions. He and too many New Yorkers, even those that are non union-members fail to appreciate how union gains have elevated the quality of work-related rewards gained through collective bargaining.

Voting for Mayor Bloomberg this time would be too much like voting for an education bill with a Gambling clause attached.

Sep. 22 2009 11:31 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

The best thing about Bloomberg is that his mortal and will grow old and eventually be voted out of office.

The worse things about Bloomberg is what he has allowed his real estate developer friends do to the Williamsburg and Greenpoint areas of Brooklyn, his utter disregard of terms limits and the middle class, and his arrogant manner.

Sep. 22 2009 11:30 AM
hjs from 11211

best: broadway island 42nd -59th st &
1 million trees

Sep. 22 2009 11:30 AM
Bob from Greenwich Village

Best of Bloomberg
311 system and accountability of managers
smoking ban in bars and restaurants
Worst of Bloomberg
Moving Education offices into Tweed Court House
West Side Stadium proposal

Bob from Greenwich Village

Sep. 22 2009 11:29 AM
Harvey from Manhattan, Hells Kitchen

TOP TWO: REQUIRING THAT FAT & CALORIE INFO ON FOOD BE POSTED BY THE CITY'S MULTI CHAIN RESTAURANTS.

BANNING CIGARETTE SMOKING INSIDE ALL INDOOR ESTABLISHMENTS.

BOTTOM TWO: 311 (IT WAS A TERRIFIC IDEA THAT HASN'T REACHED ITS POTENTIAL)

I'M HAVING TROUBLE FINDING A SECOND ITEM. MAYBE THIS: DOES HE REALLY NEED TO TAKE ONE DOLLAR A YEAR FROM THE CITY AS COMPENSATION? ISN'T HE RICH ENOUGH TO LEAVE THE DOLLAR IN THE CITY TREASURY? LOL

Sep. 22 2009 11:24 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Hmm, for the caller on his taxes going up over several years… His taxes, percentage wise definitely went up, but I’m sure his house’s perceived value also increased and hyperbolic property value increases probably had a lot more to do with his bill than the increase. If you want a valuable home, you have to pay for it.
On comments on the homeless situation (and jobs), I’m sure the EPIC RECESSION we are in right now has more to do with jobless and homeless people than Michael Bloomberg’s administration.

Sep. 22 2009 11:24 AM
Norman from Manhattan

I agree with brianr.

Worst part of Bloomberg's administration was his restrictions of demonstrations against the Iraq war and the Republican convention.

If he actually did improve education, and the test scores hold up, that would be the best part of his administration.

Sep. 22 2009 11:23 AM
landless from Brooklyn

The good thing about Bloomberg is his record on public health and recreation by making recreational centers free for children.
The worst: the high cost of safety. We have so many police as well as private security guards. This does not demonstrate safety so much as fear.
Also, the high rate of black unemployment and high poverty level. He has not handled the city's economy well.

Sep. 22 2009 11:22 AM
Mickey from New York

Worst things about Bloomberg: 1) engaging in regressive taxation by raising the sales tax instead of raising the rates on the super-rich;

2) creating a city hostile to the working and middle classes

3) creating a culture of non-accountability among his top-managers--ie. how many children must die under the ACS before Mattingly is punished; how many fire disasters before Nick Scopetta is punished.

best things about Bloomberg: 1)smking ban;

Sep. 22 2009 11:21 AM
Jemal from Jamaica

I'm a public school teacher and I must say that I've seen a marked improvement in the school system overall since Bloomberg took office. However, he has really dropped the ball on affordable housing. Too many teachers like myself, cops, firefighters, etc. cannot afford to live in the same neighborhoods that they serve.

Sep. 22 2009 11:20 AM
Sara from brooklyn

I like Bloombergs personality, but I have to agree Bobby G. What he did during the RNC was unexcuseable and cost the city thousands of dollars in class action lawsuits. I'm pissed at yankee stadium being built on sneaky tax dollars. I also don't agree with him running for a 3rd term.
Does anyone remember when Giuliani tried to stay in office after 9/11?

Sep. 22 2009 11:20 AM
Mike from brooklyn

no culture wars lots of class wars: subway strike, republican convention, Atlantic yards. but I'm no fan of Thompson either.

Sep. 22 2009 11:19 AM
RLewis from bowery

His legacy: Civility.

He understands the asian concept of "saving face". Whether he lost a battle (Westside stadium) or won a battle (school control), he never bad mouthed the other side. He worked with people on both sides of the aisle in a way that always left a door open to future collaboration. The days of rancor and sewer politics that ruins every issue are gone... for now.

Sep. 22 2009 11:18 AM
CJ from NY

Best Thing about Bloomberg:

He's not Guiliani

Worst Thing about Bloomberg:

Hubris. There are term limits for a reason

Sep. 22 2009 11:18 AM
Monty Burns from NYC

New Yorkers deserve better. They need a new leader with a new plan. They need Monty Burns. No Third Terms, Vote For Burns! www.BurnsForMayor.com

Sep. 22 2009 11:17 AM
greta from brooklyn

Best: positive thoughtful tone

Sep. 22 2009 11:17 AM
Marissa from Manhattan, NY

I appreciate PLANYC 2030 and the direction it provides for city development.

Sep. 22 2009 11:16 AM
brianr from battery park city


I recognize that he's done a lot to show compentence in achieving constructive change.

I won't vote for him now because of the repression of free expression in 2004 and his arranging public funding for 2 privately-owned stadiums.

Sep. 22 2009 11:16 AM
anonymous from harlem

best = 311 and smoking ban
worst = homeless situation has only gotten worse and lacks compassion for poor and struggling families

Sep. 22 2009 11:16 AM
nkbah from harlem

His top 2 moments: Banning smoking in bars and restaurants and raising taxes on cigarettes.

Sep. 22 2009 11:15 AM
Paul Chenard from East Village

I love how the mayor has made NYC a more people friendly place by creating these public squares in places like the meat packing district and time square. I also love all the bike lanes he has put into place. He has his faults, but I'm going to vote Bloomberg in November.

Sep. 22 2009 11:14 AM
Paul from Brooklyn

The two best things Bloomberg has done is appoint Janette Sadik-Khan as transpo commissioner. Finally someone with some imagination; and sticking with Joel Klein at the education dept.

Worst: not using the 2006 transportation strike as an opportunity to break the transit union. A big mistake.

Sep. 22 2009 11:14 AM
Rachelle from Brooklyn

Bloomberg has done many wonderful things for NYC, but I take issue with his touting the raising of math and reading scores in public schools. Yes, test scores have risen, but that's because students study very little other than math and reading. Science, history, social studies, physical education, and the arts have all suffered greatly under Bloomberg's administration.

Sep. 22 2009 11:14 AM
ellen from brooklyn

best: 1) education: more choice of schools for families, more control for principals

worst: 1)eduction: corrosive emphasis on test scores, teching to test

Sep. 22 2009 11:14 AM
Michelle from Brooklyn

I really appreciate his contributions to the arts. Especially, The Gates installation in Central Park.

Sep. 22 2009 11:13 AM
Stephen from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Although a supporter of Green and reflexively prejudice against a wealthy republican running the city, I feel that Bloomberg has approached governing in a very fair transparent manner. He is so filthy rich that he appears beyond corruption. Although I was not too happy about Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctorow's emphasis on hyper real estate development (it may of been a pragmatic approach to economic development), I have appreciated Bloomberg's green initiatives, increased fundings of the arts and some social services and an administration that does not appear to suffer from the corruption of the Koch and Guliani years. Bloomberg seems like a classic Rockfeller Republican similar to mayor Lindsay.

Sep. 22 2009 11:07 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

hjs 11211 "can we just pass a law and sell the city to prince mike, he pays our debts, rebuilds our school and he stays in office as long as he wants. it's a win win."

what is wrong with you?

Sep. 22 2009 10:58 AM
anonymous from Queens

TOP 2 MOMENTS:
Smoking ban
Bike lanes

BOTTOM 2 MOMENTS:
Indifference to 10-day Astoria blackout
Congestion pricing/east river tolls

Sep. 22 2009 10:58 AM
anonymous from Queens

TOP 2 MOMENTS:
Smoking ban
Bike lanes

BOTTOM 2 MOMENTS:
Indifference to 10-day Astoria blackout
Congestion pricing/east river tolls

Sep. 22 2009 10:48 AM
Bobby G from East Village

I am still outraged by Bloomberg's and the Police Dept.'s despicable behavior during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

However, I will still support him for many reasons:

Sound fiscal management. Name one other government that can claim that.

Infrastructure investment, particularly the third water tunnel.

Campaign against illegal guns.

Believe it or not, low-income housing. In my immediate neighborhood there are at least six new large low income buildings. The most recent one is under construction on the corner of Houston and Pitt.

Bike lanes and traffic management. If it weren't for Albany we would have Congestion Pricing.

For my priorities, I trust Bloomberg more than Thompson.

Sep. 22 2009 10:19 AM
Marjorie J. Clarke Ph.D from Inwood

Continued from earlier comment:

2. After 9/11 Mayor Giuliani arranged an agreement with USEPA that EPA would clean the outsides of buildings and streets of toxic / carcinogenic dusts, and NYC DEP would clean the insides of buildings. DEP never did clean buildings, well into Bloomberg's administration, continuing the obfuscation started by Giuliani. Hundreds of thousands have been exposed to unprecedented combinations of carcinogenic and toxic pollutants (and large quantities of those as well). Bloomberg, for many years, fought any attempt to get the coroner to consider any death by someone exposed to the toxic dusts as caused by 9/11 exposure. This decision has resulted in many deaths due to the exposure that will never be counted. It also set poor precedent for future attacks and environmental disasters.

Sep. 22 2009 10:00 AM
Marjorie J. Clarke Ph.D from Inwood

I hope that Any discussion of Bloomberg's environmental record includes these 2 extremely seriously flawed choices and policies:
1. The Sanitation department has been run by a person who is an operations manager and knows very little about recycling, waste prevention, reuse, or composting as demonstrated often at City COuncil hearings. Bloomberg himself almost killed the recycling program in 2002 and permanently damaged participation rates in it by first loudly threatening to stop it altogether (which is all that many heard), then stopping plastics recycling for a year, restoring it, then cutting collections from weekly to biweekly, then 10 months later restoring glass to the program and weekly collections. We went from over 20% diversion from export to closer to 16% at present. Volunteer environmental professionals crafted a 200 page report advising the city how to get us towards zero waste (no export, landfill or incineration) in 20 years. The City has ignored it. Meanwhile, on the west coast, over 50% diversion rates are common and entire countries and states have zero waste goals. Not us. It's not in Mayor Bloomberg's 2030 plan either, and his NYC climate footprint totally ignores the greenhouse impacts on the planet from NYC's demand for goods (i.e. products and packaging aka future waste), thereby reducing impetus to move towards zero waste policies.

Sep. 22 2009 10:00 AM
hjs from 11211

can we just pass a law and sell the city to prince mike, he pays our debts, rebuilds our school and he stays in office as long as he wants. it's a win win.

Sep. 22 2009 09:55 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from manhattan

Oh, please.
What is wrong with having 4 more years of responsible and competent adult leadership by (call him whatever you prefer) a moderate Democrat?

Term limits??!! If you love term limits so much...then get rid of the tax cheating felon Charlie Rangel.

Sep. 22 2009 09:21 AM
Small "d" democrat

It's important to separate Bloomberg's personal image--arrogant, money-coming-out-of-his-ears rich--from what he has done to make life better, healthier and more fun for all New Yorkers.

Bloomberg instituted the 311 service, which is free and which anyone can use. The 311 operators are invariably polite and remarkably helpful, providing information on everything from housing and tax problems to flu shots.

Bloomberg also tremendously improved biking in the city, increasing bike lanes and installing great signage in a city not known for helpful signage.

The NYPL has extended its hours, so it is now possible to use some public libraries at night or very early in the morning.

Wasn't it also under Bloomberg's watch that the city banned smoking in bars and restaurants? This is a boon not just to diners but also to employees, who were endangering their health just by being at work.

Sep. 22 2009 08:59 AM
Sheldon Teicher from 109-14 Ascan Ave.,Forest Hills,NY 11375

Mayor Bloomberg might be a wonderful businessman and a generous benefactor but he is NOT a dedicated democrat (small d).Above all he is not a person who seeks to govern by consensus but rather by the brute force of his wallet which so many seem to fall for.His demolition of the term limits rule speaks volumes about him as a person.At bottom he is a man after all-with an enormous ego.

Sep. 22 2009 06:21 AM

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