December 22, 1957

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This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

"The 31st in a series of monthly programs designed to help you better understand the problems of the city of New York and how the city government is meeting these problems." The Mayor answers "spontaneous" questions from local news reporters on city affairs. Reporters and their questions previewed before the question-and-answer period.

Topics include:

Whether or not the mayor will seek re-election (he is unwilling to say at the time; it appears that he was in fact planning on running for re-election -- and that he won).

His opinion on the rumor of reinstating 25 Supreme Court judgeships and adding a Supreme Court Justice through redistricting to create a separate Judicial District for Queens (it might be too expensive).

Supreme Court was on vacation all summer; was this successful? (he suggests it is not his decision, rather the judges must decide)

Will the auto use tax be repealed? (he hasn't heard anything about it)

Will the city's real estate tax be increased? (the mayor says no)

His snubbing of the King, which the reporter suggests might hurt his chances of being a US Senator (a public servant shouldn't be thinking always of the future)

Public opinion that the city is spending too much money on receptions for public dignitaries. References to an upcoming visit by a French dignitary. (an iffy question: if Washington has a new policy, they'll follow it)

Reaction to Dick Patterson's (Commissioner of Public Events) announcement that alternate street parking would be suspended for Lincoln's birthday, which was immediately refuted by Wiley (Commissioner of Traffic)? (he hadn't heard anything about it; supports Patterson's work)

If he does run for re-election, would he have the same running partners? (yes)

His impressions of his job, specifically living in his mansion and the differences between his structured government and Mayor La Guardia's; is it a "man-killing" job? (sometimes..)

Criticism of the sanitation department for permitting labor organizers to be on the city payroll and not do any work. (he stops the question and says they it had been going on for 40 years, and they stopped it)

Tax commissioner accused of sitting on a case involving his own finances (he was given a "clean bill of health")

Parking commission handing out too many tickets to pad the city revenues (it wouldn't amount to a great deal of money; the police commissioner says ticketing cuts down on accidents and injuries)

Approval of an agreement with a private tax-exempt corporation to erect a tax-free housing project in Long Island City; boro president is opposed to additional tax-free housing (the only way to get rents down for middle income class is to give some form of tax exemption)

A law department official accused of soliciting employees to buy tickets to a fundraiser (they're still checking on the matter; money was refunded to these employees when it was brought to their attention; he is opposed to soliciting city employees for contributions)

What will he do in response to all of these embarrassing stories concerning his commissioners? (prepared to meet false accusations)

A fusion movement this election year? (only the future can tell)

On behalf of WPIX and Channel 11.

Arnold Cohen - Producer
Herb Holtz - Director

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 69172
Municipal archives id: LT385