Volume 22, Number 24 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 23-29, 2009
Mayor Mike Bloomberg sat down with Community Media L.L.C. newspapers Oct. 9 for a wide-ranging, hour-long interview. Many of his comments appeared in the Oct. 16 – 22 issue, but here are some that we did not have space to include in our articles last week:
L.M.D.C. & Deutsche
“I tried to get rid of the L.M.D.C. (Lower Manhattan Development Corp.) and made no progress with Albany because it’s just another patronage mill.”
But he acknowledged mistakes the city made at the L.M.D.C.-owned Deutsche Bank building, where two firefighters were killed in 2007, and he said he wasn’t holding the L.M.D.C. solely responsible.
“But on the other hand, I didn’t fire [Fire Commissioner] Nick Scoppetta either. Just answering the call to fire the top guy so that everybody can have a scalp is not any ways to run a railroad …. You don’t attract great people and then micromanage them. And then when they get in trouble, you don’t throw them to the wolves. It’s building loyalty that will get people to come work for you and stay with you.”
“If you want to really worry, the big unknown for the city’s budget next June — I can tell you how to balance the budget, it’ll be okay, it’ll be a lot of hard work, there’s going to be a lot of yelling and screaming, but we’ll get it through. The problem is Albany. Albany has a deficit so big that they’re scared to death they’ll have to face it. It’s an election year for them which is going to make it very difficult politically. We don’t have a governor who’s strong; he’s got his own problems…. The Senate could go either way, any two people could jump over… [State Sen. Hiram Monseratte, convicted of misdemeanor assault a few days after the interview] is just another problem they don’t need….
“So, what they’re going to do is screw the city. It’s the only practical thing for them to do. They raise taxes on the wealthy, which means New York City, because there’s not a lot of wealth in the state outside of New York City, and they will cut distribution of funds to New York City, because you only run the risk of pissing off a bunch of Democrats who are never going to vote Republican. So even if it costs the position of their senators and Assembly people in New York City, the replacements would be in the same party, which is what they really care about because that’s what gets them reelected.”
[Six days later, Gov. Paterson announced a plan to close the deficit and Bloomberg praised its “fiscal responsibility.” The Assembly and Senate will hold hearings this month to debate the governor’s proposals. ]
“Compared to siting a school, homeless shelters are a piece of cake. You wouldn’t think it would be. Particularly a high school, everybody wants more high schools, but nobody wants them in their neighborhoods.”
“I thought the High Line was a great idea, but I thought everybody would go once. And it turns out that people love it. The problem is now, you’ve got so many people, how are you going to maintain it and pay for it? It’s done an enormous amount for the real estate values.”