Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ticketed Off

Among the things that tick of New Yorkers the most, water rates and parking tickets rank right up there. And in both these areas Mike Bloomberg has distinguished himself. Take water-and yesterday's Crain's Insider (subsc.) does just that: “I am always amazed by his poll numbers, because when I go to civic meetings—and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Irish and Italian families, or black and Caribbean families—they are not voting for him,” says Brooklyn Councilman Lew Fidler. He says that people are especially upset about rapidly increasing water rates, which will be jacked up another 14% this week, and urges Democratic mayoral candidate Bill Thompson to pin the blame on Bloomberg."

In fact under this tax, spend, and over regulate administration, water rates have skyrocketed: "Last week, New York City’s Water Board proposed to raise rates on residents by 14 percent. This comes on top of a 14 percent increase in rates that it imposed on New Yorkers last year. In fact, since 2001, when Mike Bloomberg took office, the Water Board—all members of which are appointed by the mayor— has raised rates by 77 percent. At the same time that it is squeezing money out of residents, the Water Board and the Department of Environmental Protection, which runs the water system, has been largely exempt from the cost cutting that the mayor has asked other city agencies to engage in. The reason: because the DEP is financed by the water rate."

And then there is the expected parking ticket blitz-a staple of Bloomberg's regulatory menu when the city budget is out of whack: "The cash-strapped city hopes to haul in a record $686 million in parking fines next year in what could become the mother of all ticket blitzes, The Post has learned. Documents released last week as part of Mayor Bloomberg's new $59.4 billion budget show that the Finance Department is projecting a $93 million increase in parking-summons revenue over the $593 million expected to come in this fiscal year."

And yet, as Fidler lamented, there appears to be no air for any strong opposition; and he wonders why this is so. The reason lies within our previous post on the Bloomberg blandishment phenomenon. The activists are all on the dole or simply wishing that they were. If any other mayor was sticking these kinds of daggers into middle class voters, he/she would be polling right down there with the governor.