Mayor Bloomberg said his new schools chancellor won’t have trouble guiding the county’s largest public school system, even after four top education aides fled during the rocky three-month tenure of Cathie Black.
“No. I think there’s normal turnover,” Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show this morning.
“He’ll miss those people,” Bloomberg said, referring to his new chancellor, Dennis Walcott. But, the mayor added, “keep in mind, the core of the people, most of the people are still there.”
Bloomberg said it was “sad the way it worked out” with Black, but “I want to say thank you to her.”
The show’s co-host, John Gambling, said newspaper speculation was that the mayor was facing some sort of curse in his latest term, or a “third term-itis.”
“Oh you know, that’s just — you know, they talk about second-termitis,” the mayor said. “We did more in our second term than we did in our first term. We will do more in our third term than we did in our second. Some of the things aren’t sexy, but, focusing on economic development and focusing on reducing our expenses is exactly what we need here to stop this race to fiscal calamity most governments are on.”
Gambling though, returned to the issue of the now-former chancellor, asking the mayor to reflect on how it went wrong.
“We’ve all make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes that have gone bad instantaneously as well,” said Gambling. “So, I’m curious about your experience here, as you reflect on your choice of Cathie Black.”
The mayor said, “She’s a phenomenally competent woman, and – “
“But where did it derail, do you think?” Gambling jumped in to ask.
“You know, it’s hard to pin that down,” said Bloomberg, “but the real answer here is to say, ‘Okay, water over the dam, under the bridge; what are we going to do next?’ And she, if I asked her to do something for the city, I’m sure she would do it instantly, but we’ve got to now help Dennis.”
“And,” Bloomberg continued, “to focus on anything else is just so immaterial compared to the importance of what we still have to do that that’s where you really want to focus.”