Mayor de Blasio, on whose watch city government has grown by 33,720 employees to a record 326,739, who gave out $3.6 million in raises to his City Hall political staff last year, whose wife Chirlane McCray oversees 14 people who earn $2 million a year, says that to get through the coronavirus-induced budget downturn without eviscerating core services, he absolutely positively either needs billions in borrowing authority or billions in aid from Washington.
De Blasio, who has upped overall city spending by $20 billion, far outstripping the rate of inflation, tragicomically throws up his hands now, asking the gods for money to rain down from on high.
De Blasio, who has routinely resisted asking his agencies to find basic efficiencies, who ignored the recommendations of a business council he convened, who quotes Karl Marx unironically and says he doesn’t care if the wealthy who foot government’s bills flee New York, now hears a primal scream from more than 160 business leaders who see rising crime and a deteriorating quality of life and fear a potential downward spiral — and has no answer beyond demanding they get behind his call for more cash.
A leader and manager would take charge of the city’s fiscal situation, setting an example by slashing his own staff and asking for shared sacrifice from organized labor to stave off cuts.
He would communicate, clearly, to the City Council and state lawmakers what he needs the borrowed money for.
He would call on his commissioners to innovate, giving them latitude rather than micromanaging.
He would mobilize the city, public and private and nonprofit sectors alike, and take ideas from all comers.
De Blasio instead is the damsel who’s tied herself to the train tracks, who now yells “help.” Only the engine barreling its way in this direction won’t just hit him. It’ll flatten us all.
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