This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Mayor Wagner answers questions from the press.
Wagner gives a brief update of the city. Department of Marine and Aviation plan to expand harbor facilities. Fire Department investigation of refrigerator inspection and building law enforcement, creation of Bureau of Fire Prevention. Combined Mayor's Reception Committee with the City Department of Commerce. Appointment of Youth Board, headed by Judge Nathaniel Caplan.
Charles G. Bennett of the New York Times
Dr. Vincent Cassel of Il Progresso
Dan Noonan of the Brooklyn Eagle
George Hamilton Combs
Nobody has mentioned him being drafted for the Democratic Party nomination. He has no particular endorsement but believes any candidate nominated by the Democratic Party has a good chance to beat Governor Dewey. Block-by-block slum inspections are continuing and have been successful, describes work being done. Budget responses. Plans for a closer liaison between the Youth Board and the Police Department to give youth that the policemen are their friends. Advisory council has given good suggestions, in the process of assisting next year's financial program. Opposition to the plan to reorganize the Long Island Railroad.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 72259
Municipal archives id: LT2850
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Mayors Conference the fifth in the series a 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 today Mayor Robert F. Wagner meets with metropolitan newsman to answer their spontaneous questions on city affairs questions from Charles G. Bennett of the New York Times Mr Mayor are the block by block slum inspections still going on and what will be done with the findings from Dr Vincent Cassel they'll progress. What steps I should thank him with the mayor to make certain that the ordinary citizen is safe and his home crime here seems to be on the inquiries from Dan Newman of the Brooklyn Eagle was the mayor why you're so strongly opposed to the reorganization plan along the road endorsed by going to do it from Radio one television newsman George Hamilton Combs. Well you appointed a committee. To improve relations between the United Nations and the City of New York but specifically a committee done. Glad to answer those and any other questions but first if you fellows don't mind I'd like to take a few minutes to report to the people of New York on what has been transpiring since we last met my friends our city is the largest and greatest in all the world and the time of its inception three hundred years ago it has continuously grown and aggressive to the point where it now represents in every sense truly the world's capital. I was a city of more than Mayor mortar and stone. This is a community of more than commerce and industry and finance and although we follow stay in the cultural religious educational and artistic areas we are first and always a city of people your city government in a simple family ever mindful of this fact will seek at all times to be an instrument of ever greater service to our people in this regard I am happy to report the following progress and Department of Marine and avocation on the commission of Vincent O'Connor has undertaken a broad plan for expanding the facilities of our harbor and for building the prestige of what is indeed the greatest port in all the world I am now in the process of appointing a council on plot development and promotion which will consist of leaders in the maritime and allied industries and this group will advise and cooperate with all city state and interstate agencies concerned with Potter fans the members of the council will be the best men to be found in their respective fields and will serve as a public service without compensation. As a result of conferences between commissioner O'Connor and city administrator Lou thank you like and myself a fall and comprehensive part expansion program has been formulated on a lot of fronts is so very largely responsible for the strength and greatness of our city hundreds of thousands of people depend directly upon our harbor for their livelihoods and the commerce of our entire country in large measure depends upon shipping to and from the city we will therefore never stop working for an always better always more efficient always greater part of New York a part of which is dedicated to our city's people that have been some very interesting new developments in the fire department during the past few weeks Commissioner Edward Cavanagh has undertaken a thorough and comprehensive investigation of refrigerator inspection and building laws and four thousand Commissioner cabinet has also combined the bureaus of fire prevention public assembly and combustibles into one single agency known as the Bureau of fire prevention. This move will make for greater efficiency and allow for closer supervision in addition entire fire companies and equipped with two way radios are now engaged in a block to block building to building inspection of every single multiple dwelling in New York City instead of waiting at their respective fire houses for alarms to sound firemen are now out in the field and forcing the fire laws to date there have been over one hundred and ninety five thousand inspections with ten percent of violations found violators are given a notice which is followed up within a week and complete failure to comply with the laws within that period will result in forceful prosecution every multiple dwelling in New York City will have been inspected before very long thereby assuring maximum safety and protection to our people we have combined the mayor's reception committee with the New York City Department of Commerce and former ambassador or Richard C. Patterson is the first commissioner of Commerce and public events the new department will undertake a broad scale program for encouraging the business development of our town and will seek in every way to help businessmen some of the problems with which they are confronted the department will also act as layers on between business groups and other city agencies and will serve as the official said the spokesman for the business community the expanded Department of Commerce and public events will work with all of the other city departments to help continue New York as the greatest community in all the world for business and therefore for labor and for all the people. We were fortunate enough to secure the services of Mr Joseph Schecter who is our new city personnel director and chairman of the new Civil Service Commission we were fortunate to one of painting the services of Mr George Gregory as a member of the commission and the third member will be named very shortly Mr Schechter his background in personnel and civil service work is a splendid one and his know how and experience will help considerably in the establishment of a more efficient merit system as well as in creating more effective and workable wage scale and promotion policies for our city employees this week I appointed a considerably expanded youth ball headed by Judge Smith and Neil Kaplan the board will tackle the problem of juvenile delinquency with renewed vigor and with every resource of your city government available to it for myself I regard the problem of rehab militating youngsters who are on the wrong path as one of the priority projects of our administration and I expect that the Youth Board with its many trained experts and outstanding authorities will do a hostile and effective jobs to make more secure our homes our schools and our communities and now my good friends of the press. This in. Spite of your very well known stand governorship stories are persisting that the Democratic Party might grant you for its nomination and in the light of this possibility I'd like to ask a triple barreled question. Relating to you and the Democratic nomination first if drafted would you accept second if nominated were you run and third if elected would you serve well I believe that question has been asked of Oz and that many times as a child first of all I think the first one is a very empty question because I haven't heard anybody with any authority mentioning to me the possibility of any draft I have indicated that I am not a candidate I am not available I have contracted with the people of the city of New York when I ran for election last year to be mayor for four years and that still stands it was America America now if a government will be a support for the Democratic nomination I do not support anyone at this particular time we have a number of very able candidates all of the home I am sure can defeat Governor doing or any other candidate that the Republican Party nominee will you specifically favor for Cleveland doors Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr Well Frank Brazile is a good friend of mine and no friend and I think he'd make a splendid candidate but I think it's a little too early to do any endorsing of any individual for the nomination a much greater coverage of the Democratic state chairman is pulling up. To their preference for gubernatorial candidate just blows up the straw poll shows you strongly believe that generates a draft wherever we go flareup would be your a position and if that were clearly it overwhelmingly indicated that you were the choice of the Democrats in New York State Well George first of all we have to find out what happens in the Paul I don't think they'll be any runaway on the part of anyone peculiarly when I have and all times indicated the fact that I am not available. And sometimes those polls may not always be. It all mean whether you have the outstanding candidate there for instance Not that I was the outstanding candidate but I was one of the top runners and in the news polls for mayor of the city of New York at that time I hadn't indicated any desire for the position and here I am as mayor but I was very generous I'm sure but I'm not sure it's a reply to question I believe that it is. Assumed that you would be the choice which you declined and that's another very iffy platitude and I think you're trying to get me in a corner and I'm not going to listen to like. Mr Mayor of reading the question I asked at the top of the program about the block by block slum inspections I wonder if they're still going on and if anything has been to determine yet as to what will specifically will be done with the findings well. They certainly are continuing and all reports to me and the caging indicate that they have been very successful we are course with the cooperation of the courts to take you away with the chief magistrate judge my top and forcing the law and while in the old days they perhaps have them thousand cases a year. The judge my time thinks that within a short period of time we'll have about a thousand cases a week and these violations which shows that the city agencies and the courts are really working with them and they violations particularly the ones that are dangerous and as I indicated and I'm going to resume at the beginning of this program the find a plot to is. Used today is continuing its block by block inspection so that all of the multiple dwellings within a short period of time will have been examined for violations of the final laws which means protection of life and property and other words we're not we didn't use this merely as a publicity stunt and so he continued we operation to ensure people only adequate protection of the player on that very subject while in Puerto Rico recently a chief magistrate Murray said slums as we know them now in New York City will be wiped out within a couple of years what do you think about state do you believe rabbit action will come through as I said the judge has been cooperating with us and is close to the problem what we want and we are doing here is attacking the problem in a number of ways by new housing with the assistance of the federal and state governments and we sincerely hope that we'll have a better housing bill from Washington than was indicated in the press yesterday that we are. Will inaugurate our own plans here very shortly for a middle income housing program and of course to by eliminating violations and making slum areas of the present time better places which to live we will in that way create better homes and also to we are seeking to check deterioration in areas that are not yet slums but tend to go in that direction and by rigid enforcement and the cooperation of our people we may very well arrive within a period of a number of years the point that the judgment time and the word because it's been over direction is too optimistic now because it depends too on what. One says is a slum some we have to work for. But we want to avoid that and another method that we've adopted is. Passing a law which puts a moratorium on the conversion to single room occupancy of these boarding houses and tell we can formally review the problem and come up with a modern law which will protect people in these sort of rooming houses and at the present time some of them are very very bad examples of democracy at work. Mr Mayor this past week says this budget commission and its first major break with the city administrator. Challenges claims of budgetary condom is made in a recent report a strong implication was that Dr Gilbert as a thirty thousand dollars city official sees things differently from the way if you'd done two years ago the investigator executive director of the mayor's committee on management survey how do you feel about the budget Commission's observations Well I think the budget Commission's observations were such a general character that they certainly called for the answer they received from Dr Gilbert and other words to stop. Being a little political about. The whole matter and if they have any ideas on economy they should set them down in specific all of us so that they can then be studied but we get so much of that at times from even worthwhile agencies such as the citizens budget commission where they make these great broad general statements and come up with any facts. We must give Dr Gillick and his. Staff adequate opportunity to put into effect the economies which have already been done in collaboration with the budget director not only in the past six months but in the course of the last year or so the budget director has began begun to examine those we can. List marijuana in your remarks a few moments ago you referred to the creation of a Youth Board are people of course is very much disturbed about the increasing incidence of. I wonder if you regard the use for the most practical or specific stuff taken by your administration do they will do the job or is it tied up with other factors Well Judge. It isn't a new you we have had a view on for a number of years but we have expanded it to bring more representatives of various groups in the city and that Bowen and brains. Are not better than the ones we had before but more of the brains to tackle this to separate problem we want to see if we can get a little more money for them to operate in some of the areas where. The gang was are affecting the. City and that you thought has to a number of the city officials who I had some departments such as the police commissioner and they have already worked out plans for a close ally and time between I employed and the police department not just with the P L but with the actual enforcement to see whether we can give the young people feeling in the area the police as well as the what I've asked friends and I think same time in some areas to help us go after those older people in the particular area who are influenced the young people along but the wrong road but about whether or not a lot to just you know police dogs be used to patrol Central Park and other areas I don't drive. That was to be studied and I thought your survey. And I haven't seen any out. Of Michael a very something where we do the police stories in use in Prospect Park some years ago. We made a joke about it it is one of the methods that has been suggested by some very able people who are so-called experts in the end and police but I