Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Transfering Blame

Updating the transfer station blow-up that we have already commented on: there's an interesting piece on the issue in the City Room blog. What fascinates us is the way that the mayor, intent on wooing the assembly for his congestion tax plan, continues to orchestrate in ways that only embarrass Shelly-and can only be seen as counter-productive.

In fact, as Sewell's story reveals, the mayor unveiled a consultant's study that "proved" that the Gansevoort transfer station would be cheaper to build than the assembly alternative on 36th Street. Here's the money quote: "But it is unclear whether Mr. Silver will get behind the mayor’s plan or yet again throw a wrench in the administration’s works. Mr. Bloomberg said that Mr. Silver’s staff had not yet briefed the speaker on the thick report the mayor brandished in the Blue Room." (emphasis added)

Is he serious? Holding a press conference on a report that contradicts the Speaker's position before briefing him doesn't seem to be good politics, does it? And calling it a "disaster," as the NY Sun story this morning reports, if the plan doesn't pass isn't the best gauntlet to put before the assembly.

Shelly, for his part, continues to see the 36th Street site as preferable: "They seem to be ignoring the questions that they were asked, which is what does it cost to do the alternative site," Mr. Silver said in Lower Manhattan." The mayor responded by referring to the city's report, another indication that we're going to have to cease and desist from any further use of these municipal liars for hire since so many of these consultants appear willing to say anything for their employers.

Remember when the city's DOS hired consultants who found that the clustering of transfer stations in Williamsburgh didn't pose any environmental problems? We all got a good laugh out of that, and the mayor's obviously ignoring that advice with his new found environmental religion. All of which underscored what we said over a year ago: the mayor's plan, limited in garbage reduction scope and unmindful of Albany politics, was heading for the rocks.