The San Men were played like cheap guitars.
Bloomberg and Goldsmith are very smart — no one denies that. They surely were smart enough to know that staff reductions and the October edict demoting 100 Sanitation supervisors would provoke a DSNY job action —formal or not — at the winter’s first big snow storm.
As predictable as worker backlash was, so was the anger that many New Yorkers are feeling today.
Is there anyone out there naïve enough to believe the Bloomberg crew didn’t expect both of these responses?
Who, then, do we hold responsible for how the blizzard was handled?
The instruments, or the musicians?
And what’s the tune?
Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith
Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith said today that “we’re 30 days away” from giving community boards “real-time 311 data,” but that he would have to confirm this.
He made his comment in response to a question by Councilmember Gale Brewer at today’s City Council hearings on the Blizzard of 2010.
But a Brooklyn community board district manager who has seen a prototype of the system cautions that the 311 data will not be what the boards had requested.
Despite some incisive questioning, especially by Councilmember Jumaane Williams (45CD), the mayor’s representatives toughed it out and protected Bloomberg by saying that they, not he, had made the crucial decisions.
Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty
But when it came time to specify which managers had made which decisions, no one took responsibility. Goldsmith called himself a “coordinator” who had left it to commissioners John Doherty (DSNY) and Joe Bruno (OEM) to make the critical operational calls. They said the decision-making scenario was a group process.
No one admitted City Hall had erred in delaying declaration of a snow emergency.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s political operatives are working in Albany on their real agenda: gutting the civil service merit system.
Leonie Haimson needs help. New York’s most passionate education blogger has not appreciably changed the way the city’s public schools are run. A persistent critic of Mike Bloomberg’s educational policies, and president of a group called Class Size Matters, Haimson gets noticed but continues to be shrugged off by City Hall.
It doesn’t matter how many “ordinary” New Yorkers agree with Haimson. City voters have almost no power to shape municipal policy. They lost most of their clout two decades ago when they approved a new government structure that gave the mayor almost sole control over the city’s budget, land use, contracts, and, de facto, over the City Council itself. (Most Council members would deny this.)
Even a local referendum to change the city charter can be preempted by the mayor. Today, New Yorkers usually must resort to litigation or to state intervention to derail an initiative the mayor truly wants. Continue reading
Because He Can
Michael Bloomberg’s appointment of Cathie Black as NYC schools chancellor shouldn’t surprise anyone. Bloomberg simply used the mayoral control powers the state legislature granted him in 2002 and 2009.
Why did he appoint Black? For the same reason that a male canine tends to indulge in his favorite relaxation exercise: because he can. Continue reading
Imagine if the Board of Elections put seven separate elected officials — Congressman, Senator, Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, Assembly member, and State Senator — on the same ballot line, and made you mark just one oval to choose all of them.
Sounds like the old Soviet Union.
The decision by the 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission to group seven unrelated proposals under ballot Question 2 — based on an opinion that the ballot was too small to show them separately — is just as cynical: It’s a way of telling voters, “If we let you vote seven or eight times, you could get confused and forget to vote ‘Yes’ on everything we want.” Continue reading
Sometimes it’s easy to tell a story. Here are the first two items in the October 29th “Rise & Shine” story listing on the education blog GothamSchools.org.
* SUNY wants to try fixing failing charter schools instead of shutting them down. (Post)
* The city says it is considering closing up to 47 schools this year. (GS, Times, Post, WSJ, NY1)
And they say that Albany is dysfunctional?
City Limits has paid CityPragmatist a great compliment by prominently featuring our views about ballot Question 2, a collection of unrelated charter revision “reforms” to be placed before voters on Election Day.
Question 2, along with Question 1, which is about term limits, will appear on the “back” of Tuesday’s two-sided paper ballot. Continue reading
Posted in 2010 NYC Charter Revision
Tagged 2010 charter revision, 2010 NY charter, bloomberg charter, charter revision, Matthew Goldstein, Michael Bloomberg, New York City Charter, NY charter commission, NY charter revision, NYC charter, nyc charter revision
A Coordinated NYC Voter
Mike Bloomberg is betting you can’t rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time.
That — and a 2008 commitment to billionaire term limits sponsor Ron Lauder — is why he’s urging New Yorkers to vote “yes” on ballot Question 1 — to restore two-term limits for mayors and other city elected officials.
Of course, Question 1 exempts him and other current incumbents. They all can run a third time if they haven’t already.
But what does this have to do with your head and your tummy? Continue reading
What charter revision?
That’s the answer we got when we approached a small random sample of New Yorkers and asked them how they intended to vote on charter revision on Election Day.
Perhaps Friday’s appearance at New York Law School by charter commission chair Matthew Goldstein will stimulate some media coverage of a subject many people — including journalists — are treating as an unimportant sidebar to the major races to be decided on November 2nd. Continue reading
Posted in 2010 NYC Charter Revision
Tagged 2010 charter revision, 2010 NY charter, bloomberg charter, charter revision, Matthew Goldstein, Mayor Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, New York City Charter, NY charter revision, NYC charter, nyc charter revision
Since July, 2004, when Public Law 108-271 changed the name of the General Accounting Office to the Government Accountability Office, “accountability” has dominated discourse in our political arena.
When a disaster hits, whether it’s a construction crane collapse, a gas line explosion, an oil platform disaster, a municipal budget shortfall, or the perceived failure of the nation’s educational system, editorial writers, politicians, and pundits pile on, demanding “accountability.” Continue reading