04 January 2009

Bloomberg's Latest Bad Idea

No amount of public criticism will prevent Michael Bloomberg from going after what he wants.

The Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens Courier reports that the referendum-flouting would-be-third-termer is looking to ram through a City Charter revision (oh, how he loves those) that would shorten the ULURP (Uniform Land Usage Review Procedure) process. "According to an informed source, who attended a discussion of the issue at a meeting held by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer," wrote the Courier, "the goal may be to shorten the lengthy ULURP process, which mandates review of zoning changes from the local through citywide levels over a specific period of time."

Why? I mean, besides the fact that he just loves developers so much and has such contempt for the general public? Because, thinks Bloomie, it would be good for the flagging economy. "In their mind, they want to ensure that development goes as quickly as possible, particularly in this economy," noted the Courier source. “Now, they have to wait 200 days to go through ULURP. What if they could get their shovels in the ground after 60 days?"

As Sidney Falco said in "The Sweet Smell of Success": "His gall is gorgeous."

After what has happened with the Department of Building this year—the crashing cranes, the widespread evidence of rampant corruption, the ousting of Patricia Lancaster—Bloomberg thinks less oversight of building projects is a good idea. Developers are still our friends, apparently, selfless sorts who only want to provide jobs and keep our economy thriving.

How many thing are wrong with this approach? It's hard to say. Aside for opening the floodgates to further scandal and malfeasance, such a revision would place the reins of City power more tightly in the grasp of the realtor-builder complex than they already are. The idea that truncating ULURP would generate jobs is specious. Where would the money be coming from to fund these expensive projects? And if the buildings are completed, where are the wealthy citizens who would purchase these fresh condos or rent this new office space? The City would be left with more unused surplus towers than it already has. Furthermore, Bloomberg's reliance on Wall Street and development to keep the City going is part of what got New York in the mess it's in in the first place. So the big idea of our supposed third-term savior is more of the same? Genius. Beyond that, could there be a more short-sighted solution to the City's problems than to completely toss out community involvement in the metropolis' future course? I suppose so, if you're a guy whose vision of New York City doesn't include a role for the rank and file.

More and more, it looks like the New York Post was on the money when it reported that Gov. David Paterson secretly described Bloomberg as "a nasty, untrustworthy, tantrum-prone liar who 'has little use' for average New Yorkers.' "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"a nasty, untrustworthy, tantrum-prone liar who 'has little use' for average New Yorkers.' "

... and so is Scott Stringer, if you haven't figured it out. Stringer, like Quinn, has been a full partner with Bloomberg on real estate. It was Stringer that nailed to coffin on McHale's Restaurant.