Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Deputy Dan Doctoroff

We have never been shy about expressing our distaste for the highhanded methods of Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff. We were first exposed to his arrogant disdain for those less exalted when only a month and a half in office, he unceremoniously slam dunked Dominican developer Mauricio Fernandez and instead subsidized the installation of his friend Steve Ross into the Bradhurst development at 145th Street in Harlem.

As a result, it should be no surprise to find that the demise of the West Side Stadium and the finger pointing at Deputy Dan only makes us smile. It gives us a certain measure of satisfaction to see others (although mostly quoted anonymously), find out what we had been telling people for a while: Doctoroff exudes a smug haughtiness that has no use for anyone’s opinion but his own.

Ben Smith’s story in this week’s Observer really nails this. He clearly underscores how Dan’s arrogance poisoned the atmosphere and, what’s probably even worse, how his political naiveté led the Bloomberg team directly into an ambush. Politics, unlike investment banking where the monetary clubs are trump (no pun intended), requires some degree of deference to the sensibilities of tenured elected leaders. Clearly, when it comes to tact and deference the Doctoroff budget is full of deficit spending.

Smith Follows Bowles into Overestimation

Ben does, however, fall short in one area. He uncritically cites the outer borough developments as true breakthroughs (“a remarkably dynamic period in city government”). Before we grant the kudos it is important to evaluate the quality of the aforementioned projects and the methods used to achieve them. Bowles, to his credit, offers the nascent critique (top-down cronyism) and Ben needed to pursue this particular line of thinking.

In the end, however, the stadium’s demise may not only have the rebound effect of helping Bloomberg get reelected, it might also lead to the one major reason the mayor’s reelection may be palatable: a second term absent Dan Doctoroff.