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Civic Bigwigs Reflect On Ravitch's Appointment

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Governor David Paterson met with city civic leaders on Wednesday to discuss the economic impact of the State Senate stalemate, but the recent selection of Richard Ravitch as lieutenant governor was foremost on everyone's mind. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

After delivering his bombshell announcement Wednesday, Governor David Paterson raced back to the city for a private powwow with influential New Yorkers from business and civic circles.

Although Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch as lieutenant governor was not the official focus of the meeting, it dominated talk before and after.

"I thought it was in the best interest of the public to take this stand and I think it's the right stand," said the governor.

Those in attendance said they wanted to know how this controversial move would propel the state out of its current mess and break the gridlock crippling Albany for the past month.

"We are concerned about the fiscal situation and the economy in general and we need everybody working together," said Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City.

Ravitch was not in attendance, but many attendees spoke his praise and told NY1 he is a great pick for the post.

Some argued it could help Paterson, whose been doing poorly in the polls.

"He is demonstrating leadership, which is sorely needed in our state," said former Mayor David Dinkins.

"I think this is a good move for Paterson because Dick Ravitch is a quality guy and that's what the state needs now," said Richard Anderson of New York Building Congress.

Yet even though the crowd supports Ravitch, not everyone is certain Paterson has the authority to appoint his own successor.

"I think it's going to end up in the courts. This law has never been tested," said John Catsimatidis of Red Apple Group.

The governor admitted as much when he announced Ravitch's appointment.

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