The Mayor Called Shelly–Twice

Today’s curt excursus on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s optimism for a new West Side train station deal by June 2007 left out some intriguing bits that suggest just how languidly Mayor Bloomberg has defended Moynihan Station. Since Silver blocked the plan last week, Bloomberg has professed “disappointment,” but he has never taken sides, and he failed to appear at Gov. Pataki’s show-down press conference Oct. 12. The quote he contributed to the press release did not mention just how soon the plan needed to be approved, just that “we should move forward making Senator Moynihan’s vision of a majestic gateway into and out of New York City a reality.”

Silver told us he spoke twice with Bloomberg on the phone. While the Mayor told the Speaker the station was important, it doesn’t sound like he was pushing very hard.

“I said I offered them the following compromise,” Silver recalled, referring to the idea of buying the building in which the station would go, “and he said, ‘It’s reasonable but Pataki won’t do it because it comes from you.’”

Eventually, Bloomberg will need to get in the ring. Silver yesterday said that the Mayor needed to abandon his scorn of tax breaks for Madison Square Garden (which is also a client of a former Silver aide who is now a lobbyist) in order to get the big Penn Station deal done.

-Matthew Schuerman