Thursday, May 14, 2009

Watered Down Résumé

The case that Mike Bloomberg made to over turn term limits rested, in part, on his vaunted record of managerial expertise-and over all competence. Clearly, however, the mayor's stewardship of the city Department of Environmental Protection is that one major exception to his unblemished résumé of accomplishment.

As the Riverdale Press points out (thanks to Liz): "As he campaigns for a third term as mayor, Michael Bloomberg portrays himself as a man above politics and as a savvy businessman who can get us through tough times by his careful management of our dollars. Residents of the Northwest Bronx know better - or should. They have had years of bad news about the huge project that Mr. Bloomberg personally arranged to have dumped in their backyard - the water filtration plant under construction in Van Cortlandt Park."

The filtration plant is emblematic of the DEP's overall malfeasance-and city residents have the water bills to prove it: "Let's turn to the other side of the ledger, to Mike Bloomberg, the CEO of NYC, Inc. Let's observe his Department of Environmental Protection in action. Seldom has there been more comprehensively- documented proof that a city agency is managed by a gang that can't add straight or that its projections and promises are as evanescent as a spring shower that no sooner sprinkles the ground than it evaporates into thin air."

And the Press reminds us that the argument made for the plant's construction-in a park, for God's sake-was gonna lower water rates: "The only question that remains to be answered about the filtration plant is whether the decision-makers were knaves or fools: did they deliberately lie about the cost and consequences of building the plant in the park, or were they too dumb to figure out where to put the decimal points when they estimated the price?"

All of which underscores our argument-where is Bill Thompson?-that the mayor's claims of necessity for returning him for an illegal third term are, charitably, hyperbolic-and the Riverdale Press gets the last word on this multi-million dollar charade: "Is the mayor who boasts of his businesslike approach accountable for the performance of his agencies? Or is the CEO of NYC, Inc. like those other CEOs, of banks and insurance companies and automobile manufacturers, we have come to know recently, reaping the bonus of re-election for presiding over a failed enterprise?"