Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Park and Deride

As expected, Mayor Bloomberg announced that he would veto the city council's so-called parking meter grace period bill. As City Room reports: "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Monday vowed to veto a popular City Council bill that would give ticket-fatigued drivers a five-minute grace period at thousands of parking meters, saying it would lead to “chaos.” Parking meter revenue has become a sizable contributor to the city’s coffers."

This, in our view, confirms the expectation that the closeness of the last election will yield little in the way of policy epiphanies for Mike Bloomberg: "But even as the Council moved ahead on the legislation, Mr. Bloomberg voiced his opposition. “I will veto that,” he said. “I think it’s a very misguided piece of legislation.”...The mayor’s dismissive remarks on Monday suggested that little had changed since his narrow re-election two weeks ago. During the campaign, his Democratic opponent, William C. Thompson Jr., mocked the city’s aggressive enforcement of parking rules, which has infuriated drivers, and cost them dearly: Most parking tickets start at more than $100."

The real question that needs to be asked of the mayor-and its relevancy is quite obvious to us-is: "When was the last time you used a parking meter, Mr. Mayor?" People are laboring in NYC under a mountain of taxes and fees, and all of this is well below the Bloomberg private jet radar: "Some predicted that the mayor would seek to appeal to those aggrieved drivers after the election. But he appeared unsympathetic at a Bronx food distribution center on Monday."

Of course, he did, and this is just the beginning of the end of the extended honeymoon. As the Observer points out, the mayor is asking for billions of budget cuts in both the near and longer term: "Michael Bloomberg wants to cut more than a billion dollars from next year's budget, and $550 million from this current budget, according to a letter to the heads of city agencies (and reporters) this afternoon. For the current year, Bloomberg is seeking to cut 1.5 percent from the Department of Education, 2 percent from "uniformed forces" and 4 percent from all other agencies."

Once Mike the Knife gets started on his great budget cutting adventure-and adds a few tax hike accessories-the hue and cry will resound across the five boroughs. And in the process, Bloomberg's reputation will suffer from the same kind of diminution that the governor is experiencing. Only for Mike, the fall will be that much greater