Monday, September 29, 2008

Check Mayor!

In a column this morning, Liz Benjamin of the NY Daily News reports that NYS Assembly Dems may be in the process of delivering an ultimatum to the mayor about over staying his term welcome: "Assembly democrats may soon push Mayor Bloomberg into the ultimate Sophie's Choice dilemma, forcing him to choose between trying to stay in office for four more years or preserving a key element of his legacy. The more Bloomberg flirts with changing term limits, the less inclined some lawmakers are to reapprove mayoral control of the city's schools, according to one highly placed Assembly Democrat."

Ah, there's nothing like checks and balances, and Liz's highly placed source indicates that there are at least some folks who aren't buying the school nirvana Kool-Aid that Mayor Mike's been serving: "When school control was given to the mayor, there was a thought that he would be in office for no more than eight years," the lawmaker said. "The notion we'd be granting control so that this gang can continue doing what they're doing is not appealing."

The more the Assembly asserts its prerogatives, the more apparent it becomes how little our local legislature does so; and let's not forget that the UFT and Speaker Silver are perfect together: "When it comes to mayoral control, much will rest on the United Federation of Teachers, which is closely allied with Silver. The union hosted his primary night victory party at its Broadway headquarters. UFT President Randi Weingarten has said mayoral control needs "checks and balances," but the union has yet to take a formal position on either mayoral control or term limits."

Bloomberg runs real risks if he attempts to stay beyond where the voters felt his term should end-and his chaos-causing actions will reverberate throughout the city's political system, with unknowable consequences for the mayor and the current members of the city council. Having an Amen editorial choir is not enough when the city's chief executive, a product of the financial sector's culture of privilege, may become another symbol of Wall Street selfishness.