Monday, June 02, 2008

Cranes Not the Only Things Collapsing

Diane Cardwell's on a roll. In yesterday's NY Times the dogged reporter, covering the political impact of the deaths involved in a second crane collapse, goes after the most precious commodity in the Bloomberg Administration-his reputed competency: "The deaths threaten the long-held view of Mr. Bloomberg, a self-made billionaire, as a talented manager, political observers said. And his high-profile ousting of Ms. Lancaster has made him even more directly accountable.
“It certainly hurts his reputation as a great manager and this idea that you need a nonpartisan businessman to manage the city because he really knows how to manage agencies, and it takes the politics out of decisions,” said George Arzt, a political consultant who was press secretary to Mayor Edward I. Koch."

It's only a matter of time before the reassessment gains real force. The next stop will be the schools, and Andrew Wolf has already given us a good start in focusing in on Bloomberg's failings here: "While campaigning to be given control of the schools back in 2002, Mr. Bloomberg suggested that business-like management combined with a "back-to-basics" curriculum would tame the perceived chaos in our schools. This is the kind of talk that drew many of us, myself included, to support mayoral control. But once assuming control, Mr. Bloomberg's initial precepts were abandoned, and the mayor joined in supporting the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, apparently convinced that with just a few billion more, all would be right."

When the dust settles in this crucial area-the one that Mayor Mike said he should be judged on-he will be judged; and the results won't be pretty. Thanks to reporters like Cardwell and Wolf, the chickens are starting to come home to roost.