Tuesday, December 15, 2009


NY's Early Lame Duck

Even before his hard-fought, expensively-purchased third term begins January 1st, Mike Bloomberg may already be a lame duck.

For the first time in his eight years in office, the mayor lost a big development vote in the New York City Council -- 45-1. The plan would have opened the door to transforming the long-shuttered Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into a mall. The Council rejected the project -- which would have meant thousands of new and permanent jobs -- because neither the mayor nor the developer, Related Co., would (rightly so) go along with an imposed "living wage" for both construction workers and auxiliary staff.

It's bad that left-leaning Council said "no" to needed jobs in arguably the poorest borough in the city. However, in the past, if Bloomberg wanted a project like this, he could usually depend on Council Speaker Christine Quinn to pull along enough otherwise-recalcitrant council members to provide the votes. After his narrow 5 percent election victory (despite spending over $100 million in his campaign), Bloomberg has no capital to spend. Quinn herself was held to 52 percent in a Democratic primary -- partly because she was perceived as too close to the independent/Republican mayor. If this is a sign of things to come, Mike Bloomberg's third term is going to be a loooong four years.


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