With the term limits extension roiling the political waters in NYC, the following question comes to Mind: Who will speak for the people? Certainly it won't be the business and media elites who, as we write, are lining up to insure that their fair-haired boy continues in office. This from Sunday's NY Daily News: "The city faces extraordinary challenges. A Wall Street meltdown has triggered a sudden decline in revenue. Corporate and individual tax collections have fallen sharply, and the big real estate deals that generate mega-taxes have slowed...Early on in his mayoralty, after 9/11 and in a national recession, Bloomberg demonstrated that he was equal to the challenge of leading the city through similar dire circumstances. He made the tough choice to raise taxes rather than slash police, schools, parks and other services that are critical to the quality of life. The decision paid enormous dividends."
Cue the iconic music; All hail Caeser! This kind of editorial comment is sure to continue as an incessant drum beat-a sycophantic chorus of permanent government pleas to keep the ship of state-so to speak-in capable hands. As if the city will collapse without Mike Bloomberg at its helm.
All of the soon to be unveiled editorial encomiums to the mayor, and the need to override the myopic popular will, will gloss over the dangers here-dangers that were emphasized by many of the same voices in the wake of 9/11 when Rudy tried to end run the term limits law. It was wrong them-in the middle of the worst crisis in NYC history-and it's just as wrong now; and the only reason its rearing its ugly head is because the mayor knows, even with all of his billions, he wouldn't be the favorite to overturn the will of the people in another referendum.
So now its incumbent on the folks to take a stand on all of this mishogos. And the grass roots needs to be activated. In order for that to happen, leadership must step up and play an active role. Who will that be? Let's see who among us is smart, savvy and courageous enough to seize this opportunity to lead.
In yesterday' Daily Politics post, Liz gets the following from Bill Thompson: "The voters of this city have cast their ballots twice on this issue, and clearly voiced their opinion. While I personally feel that city council seats should be extended to three terms, I do not believe that change should be made without voter approval."