Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson told The Politicker this morning that he expects to make some announcements regarding his 2013 mayoral bid “in the next day or two.”
Thompson made a public appearance at the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, sitting on the dais with other elected officials, but leaving before Mayor Michael Bloomberg arrived.
When pressed on what the announcement will be, Thompson said, “We will announce it in the next day or two but we are moving forward, we are definitely moving forward.”
Fundraising is expected to be a challenge for Mr. Thompson’s 2013 effort, since donors might have less incentive to give to a politician no longer in office. And his 2009 campaign still has to pay off a $600,000 fine for illegal campaign posters.
Asked if he was raising money, Thompson said, “Beginning to. That is all part of it but we are starting some things and we will have some announcements in the next day or two.”
Thompson now works for the municipal bond underwriting firm of Siebert, Brandford & Shank, chairs the board at the Battery Park City Authority and serves as the chairman of Andrew Cuomo’s Minority and Women-Owned Businesses task force.
Thompson also weighed in on a couple of the hot-button issues roiling the local political scene. He said that he was in favor of bike lanes, for example, but said that more community input was needed.
“You go back to the last campaign and I was talking about the bike lanes and the needs to have communities involved in the planning of those bike lanes, and the fact that they were being dumped on people or dumped on communities without consultation. So I am not against bike lanes. I am in favor of working with communities to make sure you get it right.”
Thompson likewise agreed with Mayor Bloomberg’s position on changing “Last In, First Out” rules regarding teacher tenure, but disagreed with the mayor’s approach.
“Nobody wants to hang on to bad teachers but at the same point there is too much pressure being put on the principals to get rid of higher priced teachers and perhaps get a two-fer, you know two younger teachers, lower paid teachers in return for one higher paid teacher,” he said. “I think what the governor is doing in pushing and saying let’s accelerate the Race to the Top criteria, making sure we have multiple levels of criteria to judge whether a teacher is doing a good job or not makes sense.”