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The Call Blog: Mayor Bloomberg Gives Final Policy Speech; Warns Of Union Costs

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Mayor Bloomberg said today: "New York City has never been stronger than it is today." To that, I will say: "13 days left. 13 days left." This man's ego is making Rudy look like a blushing choir boy.



With only days left in office, Mayor Bloomberg is embarking on a five-borough farewell tour this week. In what was expected to be his last major speech of his 12-year tenure, he said today that union pensions and health care costs threaten future generations. Bloomberg also warned of a "growing fiscal crisis that, if nothing is done, will extract a terrible toll."

Mayor Bloomberg's criticisms of unions should come as no surprise. Municipal workers have not seen raises in years. The Mayor said today politicians seeking re-election have become "prisoners to the labor contracts." Annual pension costs in New York City have risen from $1.5 billion a year to $8.2 billion during Bloomberg's time in office.

Yesterday, on the first day of his farewell tour, the outgoing mayor defended his administration's record of homeless services. Bloomberg said, "I don't think there's any administration, any city that has ever done as much to help those in need as we have done in this city." What do you say?

Are unions threatening future generations? How will you remember Mayor Bloomberg's handling of municipal contracts? When it comes to homeless services, what will Mayor Bloomberg's legacy be?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



I support Unions in principle but they have to also deal with reality..financial reality. We need a new "union model"- but we don't need to get rid of unions.

Rich
Midtown East



Mixed bag for me. I don't like his union stance,but I do like how he has beautified and modernized parts of the city.

Rosalie frm Canarsie



Hi John

Mayor Bloomberg didn't do enough to help the homeless its a shame to see a homeless family espically with kids, the weather is cold now no one should be without a warm home to go to. As for the unions all the unions deserve new contracts with decent and fair raises my buddies at the MTA still don't have a contract they have families too and bills to pay, like i said in another email on this topic i dont mind if the MTA raises the fare to pay for their decent and fair contract, Mayor Bloomberg handling of contracts and the homeless gets a D its a dm shame to see a child sleeping on the streets or begging for money on the trains

Herman
upper west side



The only threat to future generations are the elitist policies of Bloomberg and his cronies that have bled this city dry. The audacity of this crook to blame the workers who keep this city alive is astounding. HIs personal wealth increased substantially during his reign of terror and it was obviously due to insider information. Yet he walks away unscathed after almost destroying the middle class and poor of this city. Union workers are WORKERS. They report to work every day and deserve to be compensated for their work. Their salaries have always been lower than the private sector, a concept known as deferred income, and they receive a guaranteed pension in exchange. Pension costs have not increased due to payouts. They have increased because of the fraud perpetrated by Wall Street on investments. They also escaped unscathed, collecting their ludicrous bonuses (for cheating people) while their benefactor Bloomberg tries to pay off their debt on the backs and from the wallets of the workers. EVERY municipal contract in this city is currently expired due to the criminal negligence of Bloomberg. He should be held personally responsible for the costs of the new contracts. That's what would happen in the free market he is so fond of citing and abusing.

Disgusted in Queens



Mayor Bloomberg 's legacy will be remembered as a man who dislikes unions and refuses to negotiate with any of them. He was also anti-taxi owners and tried his best to destroy the industry. This is the same guy who claimed to have started his own business ("Bloomberg LLP") from his house, but yet he tried to devalue the NYC medallion, many of which are owned by hard working immigrants who worked hard and put their whole life savings into the pursuit of the American dream.

Under Bloombeg, the disparity between the wealthy and poor grew even bigger. The middle class, the working class of this city, was left to subsidize taxes for both the wealthy and the non-working New Yorkers. The results were catastrophic for the middle class- working harder while bringing less home. Mr. Bloomberg also illegally stole a third term with the assistance of a crooked city council led by the disgraceful Christine Quinn. Let's not forget the bike lanes and bus lanes designed to generate more tickets to New Yorkers and less to do with environmental reasons. This mayor was about making money for himself and those in his inner circle. The mayor quadrupled his wealth while being mayor and working allegedly for $1 a year. If anyone believes this crap, then I have a bridge to sell you. Why is this Mayor not being investigated?

Bloomberg has no concerns for the poor and working class. He supports Pat and Frisk targeting minorities, he even thought too many whites were stopped- like 1% ("laughing so hard"), he thinks living in New York City is a privilege not a right, he put pressure on all city agencies to increase revenues which led to massive corruptions and violations of citizens basic rights. For example, the Taxi Limousine Commission, the Department of Buildings, The Department of Traffic violations- among the top three for shady practices and violators of New Yorkers' basic rights.

Good riddance! I will not miss him. He is by far the worst mayor New York City has ever had. His accomplishments did not impact my life for the better. I am not a smoker and I don't care if people want to drink 5 litters of soda a day or want to ride citi-bikes to work or be couch potatoes. These are all smoking mirrors to take attention away from the real damage he was doing to New Yorkers in terms of violating of our basic rights and the quality of life we once enjoyed. I welcome Bill DeBlasio with open arms. The devil will leave the room January 1, 2014.

I.R.



Noel in Pelham Bay,

Municipal workers have been regarded as panhandlers under Bloomberg’s administration. In reckoning the cost of unions in this political climate his oversight has been to ignore the cost of ignoring them. Bloomberg’s experience of CEO of his own business has served him well in running the city at large, but he has consistently cast a jaundiced eye to the more local experience of city workers who keep the city running day by day. Taylor law constrains municipal workers, but any sense of morale as a city worker is eroded when a mayor as CEO of the city lets every contract lapse, considers city workers a burden, and celebrates an ethos that we live in a city that is at its apogee as he leaves office. Where is the red queen in this game of three card Monty?



John,

For once, I agree with Bloomberg. But his remarks are incomplete. Unions would have no power if it wasn't for governments granting them power. So, it's really government that is the problem.

Joe
Port Richmond, SI



Mayor Bloomberg is coming to the end of his term in office. He has served twelve years and his administration has had many ups and downs, But one thing is true, he truly loved the City of New York and its' people and wanted to make it a great place to live, work and go to school. He was also interested in the health of all New Yorkers and wanted us to live longer so we could really enjoy all that New York City had to offer and to be with our family who needs us to be around longer. Mayor Bloomberg with his Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have done what was necessary in fighting crime and who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe and secure. Now for all that I say," Mayor Mike Bloomberg thanks for being our Mayor for the greatest city in America."

Frederick
Glen Oaks Village, N.Y.



I think that an investment into our Nationally recognized Department (N.Y.P.D) is worth it considering that many of its rank and file are increasingly college educated!

K.



Hi John,

What’s there to defend about his administration = We could never have a conversation with this mayor at any time at all about any subject pertaining to our life in this city. He always chooses the venue that does not question anything he says and the best example is that he chose WOR talk radio to spew his venom on us without any resistance. As far as the rise in pensions he has hired many outsiders for deputy mayors to fill in and speak for him just as other employees in many other positions and that certainly added to the cost of pensions. Bloomberg did borrow from the unions when he needed a loan to bail out the city and he never mentions that. How many projects went bust due to his bright ideas and we the tax payers are out a lot of money and yet no one seems to pay the price by going to jail.

We were all treated disrespectfully time after time again and again and very unprofessional, embarrassing and just uncalled for on his part. Yet we are told that we don’t know the real Bloomberg and that he is a very caring man. I question his whole character completely. He has not done a good job with the homeless. He’s tooting his own horn.

Thank you John,
maxxiee
mp



Bloomberg left DiBlasio with a huge financial problem that he was to weak to deal with. Correction, Bloomberg did not handle municipal contracts he ignored them and left them for the next Mayor.

Roscoe,
Park Hill



Once again Bloomberg shows his hatred for the working class. Friday he will jump on his Jet en route to Bermuda To Play Golf, While Cops chase people with guns and Fireman run into burning buildings. Bye bye little grumpy man

Charles
Breezy Point



Bloomberg ignored all the unions we need a good raise.

Mr.Eddie far rockaway.A dc37 member.



Joel Klein recently said that he understands criticism of his corporate education policies, he just doesn't agree. I feel the same way about Diana Taylor's comment that Michael Bloomberg is a caring person ("I get the need for change," 12/15). No doubt the private Bloomberg is very different from the humorless scold we are accustomed to as mayor. Some of the worst dictators in history were devoted family men. The hard truth is that the so-called "education mayor" has done incalculable damage to the public schools. He encouraged principals to run amok and created a bureaucracy whose main purpose was to harass and demean dedicated teachers serving the city's neediest children. Lives and careers have been ruined.

That is how he will be remembered.

Roberrt
Bellerose



We've heard this speech before and many of us agree with him. But, excuse me, a "once in a lifetime opportunity?" He's already had that and passed on it.

Sounds to me like he's trying to (1) create a legacy, (2) drum up business for his consulting firm, and (3) remain relevant.

Enough already!

Ellie - Turtle Bay



Mayor Bloomberg fails to take note that the municipal unions if they stay unified could void the Taylor Law by acting in concert. The legacy of Bloomberg is he did not provide funding for salary increases and now the City has a problem.

Allan
Midwood



Now I understand. The unions are the cause of all our problems. If Bloomy would have negotiated with them I'm sure a fair agreement would have been reached. It's all about give and take-not just take as Bloomy wants.

Lawrence
Howard Beach



Mayor Bloomberg's legacy in relation to Unions -- despicable! According to him the unions are solely responsible for all the mayhem in our economy leading us all down the road to ruin. Of course his final speech would be to drive fear into people about unions by predicting an atrocity for the future. Never mind that he has forced many middle class families out of NYC, the number of homeless people has dramatically increased during his tenure all while building his metropolis for the wealthy. He has done nothing to negotiate in good faith with any unions on their contracts. He has fought the Teachers Union endlessly by pointlessly blaming them for all of his failed policies in education. Never holding the DOE accountable; never holding the hierarchy in Tweed accountable; never holding any of his cronies accountable.

Union Foe to the End! Let's give Bill de Blasio a chance!

Lisa
Upper east side



New York City will now be the next Detroit.

The Union cronies and de Blasio and his so called
Progressive ilk will pave the way to bankrupt the City.

Marc
Tribeca



Hello John,

Okay, here is the formula to correct these shortfalls -

1. The rich should pay their FAIR share of taxes

2. government legislators - local, regional, and national SHOULD PAY their own health care costs and not give themselves raises

3. businesses and corporations should pay their FAIR share of taxes

let's try this first, then let's look at city and state workers (so called middle-class) who actually are paying MORE than their share of taxes

perhaps that will help balance our city, state, and federal budgets.

Sincerely,
Yvette



I GUESS BLOOMBERG WON'T GO OUT QUIETLY. HE STILL BLAMING OTHERS FOR HIS RESPONSIBILITIES AS MAYOR.

PEDRO
BRONX



Oh Bloomberg Don't go away mad,just go away! Stop vilifying unions & city workers. You lied to the teachers union promising us a 4% raise and you never delivered! Look at wall street, corporations, and the rich to pay their fare share of taxes! Instead of blaming the unions!! You had your three terms now Shut up!

Anonymous



Corporate tax loopholes and tax breaks for the super rich are the problem, not pensions or unions. Tax loopholes greatly overshadow pension costs. Bloomberg is deflecting attention from the truth. The banksters, military spending and the fact that corporations simply don't pay taxes have created the havoc in the economy.

Ron
Stuyvesant Town



Mayor Bloomberg decided that he wanted the older members of the unions out. This gave the City Dept.s the ability to hire 2 new workers for the price of 1 older member. The other side which no one spoke of, was the fact that now the older union members would be able to collect a pension. Mayor Bloomberg and his administration did it to the city.

Rose from Staten Island



Bloomberg is hands down the worst mayor this city has ever had! How much is the city investing tomorrow on everyone's contribution?? Why can't we get that number? If he left now it wouldn't be soon enough---he should listen to your callers!

From JC



I can sum up Bloomberg's legacy in one word. Ghastly! Why did the city vote for him for 12 years? I have no idea. When it comes to unions, he's a bully! The unions need their compensation for their hard work. Personally, I'm glad he's on his way out!

Mike from Morningside



Mayor Bloomberg's speech was his one last "Dig at the City Unions". The Unions have always been a "thorn in his side". Mayor Bloomberg was a Mayor who purposely left office with all city contracts open, because "he refused to negotiate a Fair Contract". It was his way or no way, in other words, no contract. Why is the answer always about pensions of workers who have not only invested their money, but have worked so hard. Coming from a Mayor who waste so much money I don't see attacking pensions to be the answer.

Theresa
Upper West Side



Mayor Bloomberg has been an enemy of public sector workers during his administration. He did not negotiate public sector contracts in good faith Thousands of public sector workers have dedicated their lives for the benefit of fellow New Yorkers. They deserve their pensions for their dedicated work for the public good. Balancing the city budget can be shared by the corporate sector that has reaped the benefits of Mayor Bloomberg's liberal corporate tax policies.

Mark, Flushing



It's really sad and not a joke. This guy really sent loads of people we need to stay in NYC, packing!

MZ
Richmond Hill NY



It always amazes me when mayors blame city workers for the misappropriation of funds by ranking officials. City agencies have engaged in a frenzy of managerial raises while the city continues to cry poor. Jobs continue to be privatized and consultants from India and other countries are flown in to do work that city employees are perfectly capable of doing.

Union



It's funny how Bloomberg blames everyone but himself city workers are taxpayers and with the money you pay me I can't afford to pay for my health insurance tolls have gone up public transportation water bills I can barely afford to go to work let alone pay more for anything else

Maria
Staten Island



Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg had a plan, he raised the standards, and the character of New York City, his empire grew, as did his vision. Under his watch, he was unable to see that his role was to be the great equalizer, between politics and business, commerce and unions. His last words dripped of contempt and blindness.

Michael in Woodside



City workers have gine for years without raises. The raises that were given were meager. Under Bloomberg works webt without xerox paper. Yet he allowed millions to walk out the door, with his cronies by out sourcing jobs. He did't even apologize about the City time mess.

Celina



Oh Bloomberg Don't go away mad, just go away! Stop vilifying unions & city workers. You lied to the teachers union promising them a raise just to get re elected and you never delivered! Look at wall street, corporations and the rich to pay their fare share of taxes instead of blaming the unions. You had your three terms, now Shut up!!

Awilda



By the way the co payments on most of our insurances are so high that I have to think twice about Going to the doctor or dentist

Maria
Staten Island



Sooo, let me get this right...Michael Bloomberg and all other plutocrats like him deserve to retire in dignity, with financial stability and great healthcare, but municipal workers- after working their entire lives and who kept this city running for all 12 years of his administration ( 4 years too long, in my opinion!) - should resign themselves to retiring in abject poverty? Give me a BREAK!!!

Chad g.
Brooklyn



Our empty suit--outta--here--mayor gave his doom speech...to me, it sounded like an old janitor warning the new janitor about all the garbage he'll be cleaning up, but not telling him that the garbage is the one under the rug he decided not to clean during all the years he was holding on to the broom. Goddamn empty suit...he should be investigated why he's leaving office wealthier than when he came in!!!

Manuel from Sunnyside



Mayor Bloomberg will go down in history as the worst Mayor of New City, nothing to be proud of.

Carmen
Bay Ridge



We need a 4th Bloomberg term. Any NY city worker who doesn't like what mayor Bloomberg has done can move to Detroit.

Shaun
Manhattan



Saying Bloomberg is the worst mayor in NYC history is insane, think of the Dinkins years when drug dealers were killing each other in the streets all over the city. I fear Diblasio is going to bring those years back.

Brian
Manhattan



As a born and bred New Yorker, I can honestly say I've for the first time considered living elsewhere. I feel quality of life for the average New Yorker has been greatly compromised during his term(s). Why do Metro Cards expire? And why can I not get the remaining credit on a new card? As far as taxis are concerned, they are insanely expensive, and the city is loud enough - the T.V's are just added noise pollution. And if memory serves, the taxi drivers has to pay for them without choice. This list goes on and on. He may not take a salary, but he's taken a lot of the average New Yorker's spirit.

And I'm sure he's lining his pockets more than we would even believe.

Rachel



Bloomberg's days in office are numbered. He should just shut up at this point. I wish he would go to his island home and stay there. He's a horrible, bossy, tone-deaf man.

Adios and good riddance.
Joan, Chelsea

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