A 10-Point Plan for Bloomy

How the Newly Elected Mayor Can Begin Reviving a Wounded City

8. Change one of the two key funding formulas in Albany: Medicaid or education. The state took over CUNY senior colleges, court expenses, and other costs in the fiscal crisis of the mid '70s, as financially troubled as it was itself. It must now take over a larger share of Medicaid, as virtually every other state does. Or the Pataki administration and the courts have to combine to give the city its fair share of education aid, as one judge has already found they're not doing. The city's grim crisis, which extends far into future budgets, requires significant state action even more than that of 1975.

9. Use the authority already won in the emergency bonding legislation passed in Albany to borrow funds to support the expense budget. The city has borrowed only to finance construction since the '70s, but this crisis mandates a return to the market to pay expenses, even if only for a year or two. In addition to ordinary repayment schedules, this debt should be pegged to future city surpluses, requiring the kind of accelerated pay-downs that should have occurred during the Giuliani boom years but didn't.

Even broke, the city can find the special state and federal funding to launch a new jobs program.
photo: Jennifer S. Altman
Even broke, the city can find the special state and federal funding to launch a new jobs program.

10. Challenge the legitimacy of the Pataki/Giuliani Reconstruction Authority and develop a democratic plan to rebuild Lower Manhattan. An 11-member authority with virtually no minorities, a single representative of the downtown residential community, and no appointees of the new mayor is by definition illegitimate. Bloomberg must develop his own rebuild strategy, listening to the voices of the neighborhood as well as corporate leaders. What's good for Wall Street is what's good for a city whose prosperity is dependent on financial services, but the balancing of interests in this herculean revival will not occur unless the elected mayor is pivotally involved. How can Giuliani and Pataki—who have railed for years that the mayor must control the Board of Ed—create a rebuild authority that locks him out?

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