Monday, April 11, 2011

The Third Times a Dud

Mike Lupica lays out our sentiments about the Bloomberg third term rather well today in the NY Daily News-and of course riffs from the Black disaster: "I was talking with somebody Sunday who knows both Bloomberg and Black, and the guy said this about the third-term mayor of New York: "It's easy to forget that before [Bloomberg] spent a fortune buying his job in City Hall, people thought of him as a kind of a jerk. Rich and successful, but a wise guy with a big ego who thought he was the smartest guy he ever met."

We at the Iron Triangle have pretty much felt this from the beginning of the city's effort to take away our land. But even before that we have watched how the mayor runs roughshod over any of the little people who stand in his way-whether they are wholesalers in the Bronx Terminal Market or bodega owners who had the Bloomberg cigarette tax take away $250 million a year from those small store cash registers.

This was a guy who, from the very beginning had no idea about how to ran a government-and he was laden with a sense of class entitlement that has characterized all of his economic development decisions. This is no Robin Hood for sure, but the Sheriff of Nottingham would be a good facsimile of the Bloomberg persona-stealing from the poor to give to the rich.

And the Black choice epitomized this arrogant elitist mindset: "So now Bloomberg, the only person in the whole city - besides Cathie Black - who thought Black should be schools chancellor despite her spectacular lack of qualifications, fires her because she isn't qualified for the job. It really is kind of wonderful. Bloomberg replaces Black with a different kind of crony, a City Hall insider named Dennis Walcott, apparently having just remembered that Walcott went to public school."

Lupica goes on to put his finger on the source of the real Bloomberg problem-a grandiosity around his supposed legacy: "Somewhere along the line, the legacy became the job for Bloomberg as much as the city. He becomes more distant from his own constituency by the day, wanders aimlessly through a third term the way other third-term mayors of New York have before him, from Fiorello LaGuardia to Edward I. Koch.

He admits he made a mistake with Cathie Black, and we're supposed to believe he reboots his own third term in that moment, as if the lousy snow removal didn't happen, or CityTime, or bad jokes about the Irish. No. The mistake was a third term for Bloomberg, the sense of entitlement he brought to the whole process. He is still running television commercials even though he is no longer running for anything. Commercials about Bloomberg, paid for by him. Perfect."

Which gets us around to our own immediate concerns over our property at Willets Point. This huge and massively expensive project, conceived in illegality and managed in deceit, is the perfect dramatization of Lupica's point about Bloomberg's obsession with legacy-it's all about him and damn not only the people who own the land, but the city's tax payers as well.

Lay off 4,000 teachers but don't take a penny away from the mayor's own Mount Rushmore at the Iron Triangle. Bloomberg needs to be stopped before a full scale calamity takes place here at Willets Point. Judge Madden has entered into this at just the right moment, it's a shame that area pols (except for Senator Avella and CM Halloran) remain asleep at the wheel.