Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Veni, Vide, Veto

According to Daily Politics, the mayor is going to veto the city council's thumbs down on the Kingsbridge Armory: "Even after insisting there's "virtually no chance" Related Companies will want to resurrect the Kingsbridge Armory plan, Mayor Bloomberg today said he will veto the Council's rejection of the rezoning the project requires. The Council will have 10 days to override the mayor's veto, once he actually acts on it."

But why double down on a bad bet? Especially after he has emphatically stated that there's virtually no chance to resurrect the deal: "I think there's virtually no chance of it getting resurrected," he told reporters, including DN City Hall Bureau Chief Adam Lisberg. "...You'll have to talk to the City Council as to why they voted it down. But at this point it will not be resurrected. I don't think the developer would want to go ahead and try again."

But apparently, the mayor is acting from what he sees as a principled position: ""We are going to have big budget problems," Bloomberg said. "We're not there to take - which they literally asked for us to take city money - and subsidize the wages of some of the people who would work in the stores that would be built in Kingsbridge Armory."

It is okay, however, to take the same city funds and use them to make the lives of area retailers more difficult. When it comes to the struggles of the small business community, Mike Bloomberg simply is inured. But we did get a kick out of his observation that the outcome on Kingsbrideg would have been different if Maria Baez hadn't gotten ill: "Bloomberg said the reason the Council voted 45-1 against the Kingsbridge project was because the "member who represents the district (Baez) is ill and she did not get re-elected so she wasn’t around to spearhead." He insisted the vote would have turned out differently if Baez had been on hand."

And you know something, the mayor could be right, but we guess that we'll never know-and Baez's defeat in the September primary did send a message in and of itself that community concerns needed to be given greater priority. But the mayor's veto will, in all likelihood, be overridden by the council; if for no other reason than because of the need to protect the institutional integrity of the body. This living wage issue is, however, one that won't go away any time soon.