The last caller into Michael Bloomberg’s weekly radio appearance with John Gambling this morning asked, more or less, if the city still needs five borough presidents.
It’s a question that’s been kicked around for a while, partly because the office is seen to have little actual political power, despite high visibility. The idea of getting rid of the position gained some traction after Angela Montefinise, in a story last month, reported details about the perks: large fleets of vehicles and numerous employees, not all of whom seem necessary (one position is “secretary to the assistant to the president”).
But this morning, Bloomberg defended the borough presidents, calling them effective “cheerleaders.” He also said the offices bring a more local perspective to city politics that can be helpful to the mayor and citywide officials.
If it were up to him, the mayor said, “I say keep them.”