Michael Bloomberg said this afternoon that the relationship between him and Councilman Simcha Felder is fine despite disagreeing with Felder's recollection that the mayor, illegally, initiated the process of directing city funds to organizations in the councilman's district.
"I haven't talked to Simcha since Sunday when we spent a good part of a day together in the Catskills and I haven't talked to him since" said the mayor, speaking at a gym in the Bronx's Castle Hill houses during a press conference about a new energy-saving project in the city's housing authority buildings. "It's not going to affect our relationship. You know people disagree on what they remember.
“I really asked a thousand times of my staff and we remember it one way. It's one of these things that was never documented but when I talk to my staff it makes sense that they're right. They wouldn't have any reason to not, and there was lots of history before and afterwards that would suggest that, you know, maybe it's just bad memory. When you get to be my age, I'm telling you get to forget some things too."
The mayor sought once again to give his version of events as to how the money ended up being channeled to organizations—which he called "meretricious"—and said that he stopped the process because he was unsatisfied with the bad book-keeping practices that accompanied the allocations.
The mayor also deflected questions about whether there should be an investigation into the city allocations, which has been called for today by several candidates for the office of comptroller, though not the comptroller himself, mayoral candidate Bill Thompson. The practice, the mayor implied, had been stopped, so there's nothing to investigate.
On other issues, he expressed confidence that the mayoral-control bill would be voted on tomorrow because the "Senate appears—ain't done till it's done—but appears" ready to pass it.
After the press conference, Bloomberg agreed with Vanity Fair's assessment that he and Diana Taylor make for the city's best-dressed couple.
"On average, Diana and I on average, may very well be," said Bloomberg, who gave his partner the credit for getting him on the list. He recalled the red Bermuda shorts he wore at a parade on July 4 a few years ago.
"That was worth the price of admission, as they say."