With the Mayoral election nearly upon us, it is time to review what the Bloomberg Administration has done, and what (based on limited information) a Thompson administration might do. (Forget the campaign literature and promises: it’s misleading nonsense). The review is in three parts because the Mayoralty is in reality three jobs. Management, since the Mayor is the CEO of a $60 billion multi-function enterprise, the City of New York. Policy, because in combination with the City Council, State Legislature, Governor, and other local officials, the Mayor of New York City helps to determine the priorities and values of state and local government in New York. And Leadership, because the Mayor is a leader (one of many leaders in both the public and private sectors) of 8 million New Yorkers, with an ability to influence how they live and what they believe, above and beyond the role of local government to compel people to do or not do things. This post is on management.
Throughout this review, you will read about many, many examples of ways in which Mayor Bloomberg has been a great mayor of New York City, including some only those with experience in government are in a position to appreciate. But you will also hear about two disastrous, unjust, self serving, future-wrecking deals – deals with consequences that may be sufficiently severe to undo or exceed, over time, any and all of the good things Mayor Bloomberg has done. (The Mayor has done other, similar things, but has been able to reverse them at least in part; these are far worse and probably cannot be reversed). In recent decades, based on the decisions and non-decisions our elected officials have made, I’ve generally been able to follow a simple rule when voting: don’t vote for any NYC Democrats at the local level, don’t vote for any Republicans at the national level, and don’t vote for an incumbents of either party in the State of New York. The question I’ll have to answer by November 3 is whether to depart from that rule.