Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pot and the Kettle

As we've been highlighting constantly, the furor over the city council's discretionary spending masks the much greater allocation of no bid funds that are dispensed by the Bloombergistas. Now these chickens may be coming home to roost. As the NY Sun reports this morning: "Mayor Bloomberg is coming under fire from the members of the City Council, who are criticizing his distribution of taxpayer dollars just as the council is facing heightened scrutiny for its own allocation of public funds to local organizations."

And it's about time. If these spending patterns are examined, you'll find that the council misdeeds pale in comparison to the lack of oversight on executive spending. Will the editorialists who've been in a state of apoplexy over the member items have any outrage in reserve for St. Michael?

Maybe a state comptroller investigation will trigger a more equitable evaluation of the city's spending habits: "The state comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, announced in January that he would audit the city Department of Education’s increasingly common practice of awarding noncompetitive contracts, which have totaled more than $270 million since 2002." Can't wait to see what he finds-after all, the educational success of the city is money well spent-right?


The NY Times, once again exhibiting its unique brand of trained incapacity (courtesy of Liz), fails in its editorial to understand the bigger picture on this issue: "It is time to end these slush funds in the State Capitol and in City Hall. Instead, all projects should be financed through the regular budgeting process. That is the only way to ensure more transparency and that the public’s and not the politicians’ interests are served.

What would be a better fit to print is the suggestion that there be a full examination of how the no bid contracting at DOE served the Mayor's interests without achieving very much in educational advancement. We can't have greater transparency in one area of city government when the greater need for sunshine elsewhere is ignored.