Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bloomberg's Last Stand

As the "deadline" for approval of his congestion tax nears, Mayor Mike, a recent convert to the Church of Gore, is making last ditch efforts to convince Shelly Silver to approve his plan to relieve congestion, receive $500 million in Federal aid, create an environmentally sustainable city, cure asthma, keep the fare at $2, and build up a decaying mass transit infrastructure. Somehow, as the NY Post is saying this morning, the troglodyte Silver is still playing the obstructionist and is standing in the way of ushering in New York's Utopian green age.

It doesn't appear likely, however, as the NY Daily News is reporting; "But Assemblyman Denny Farrell, a powerful Harlem Democrat, said there's no hope that the deal will get hashed out by tomorrow." In addition, Rockland legislators weighed in the other day voicing their opposition to the mayor's plan. As Harriet Cornel told the Journal News, "...this plan is an unfair tax on Rockland because we don't have adequate mass transit-there is no alternative for our residents." Rockland Assembly members Zebrowski and Jaffee both oppose the mayor's tax.

But Bloomberg, hot on his national political agenda building, is not giving up. And with the kind of money that the mayor is willing to spend, it is never a good idea to totally count him out.
Which is why we will be joining Senator Ruben Diaz and a group of children from East New York this morning for a press conference at City Hall.

With the mayor "hitting churches across the city to push his plan," it is important to expose his asthma charade. The fact remains that the mayor, and his hypocritical supporters at the NYC Partnership, have been building auto-dependent developments in all of the areas of the city where asthma rates are highest-and there is nothing in PlaNYC that even addresses this.

There are many things that the mayor could do to relieve the city's congestion-without resorting to a new tax. One of these measures is the restriction of city parking permits that flood all of the areas of Manhattan with automobiles driven by city workers to and from their jobs. A wonderful Op-ed in the Daily News this morning highlights this problem-one that could be eliminated with a simple executive order.

The reality is that the mayor's first response to almost any problem is to throw money at it-both his own and the tax payers'. We're hopeful that the defeat of the congestion tax will lead to a more well thought out and fairer way to deal with the city wide problem of traffic congestion. If it does, we will have to thank Shelly Silver, Richard Brodsky, Ruben Diaz, David Weprin, Rory Lancman and the irrepressible Carl Kruger for their valiant efforts on behalf of the region's tax paying auto commuters.