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Lame-Duck Bloomberg Administration Frets Over Its Legislative Legacy

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his top aides are trying to protect the administration's policies before they leave, fearful that the next mayor will try to dismantle much of what they've done, especially in the area of education. But there is only so much they can do. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

The clock is ticking for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and it seems the closer he gets to his last day in office, the more worried he and his deputies are becoming about the future of their treasured policies.

The city's police tactics and the mayor's education reforms are under near-constant attack from many of the Democrats running for City Hall.

Last month, Bloomberg delivered a strong speech defending the police department's stop-and-frisk policy. And Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is sounding an alarm about the changes that could be coming to the public education system.

"It boggles my mind why a candidate for office would call for an end to this success story except to appease a union that feel threatened by it," Walcott said on Saturday.

Randy Mastro, a former deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani, said there is nothing new about lame-duck mayors trying to lock-in what they think are the biggest advances of their administration. But there is not much they can do to ensure their policies live on.

"To the extent the mayor has good policies that work, the next mayor would hopefully see the wisdom of those policies. To the extent his policies aren't working as well, they are going to be dead on arrival in a new administration," Mastro said.

George Arzt, a former press secretary to Mayor Ed Koch, seemed to agree.

"You can't really protect a legacy. New people are going to come in and going to want to do things their way unless the previous administration was so successful in that area," Arzt said.

Some policy changes will be easier than others for the next mayor to make. Bike lanes, for instance, could be returned to car traffic, and bike racks could disappear entirely, depending on who is in charge.

"I don't think anybody would have the nerve to roll back bicycle lanes," Bloomberg said on May 8. "If they do, make sure you put their home addresses in your stories, so people will know where to go to express themselves."

The next mayor will likely be living in Gracie Mansion. Perhaps Bloomberg will swing by to give them a piece of his mind.

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