There’s a battle brewing over Gracie Mansion. Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t live there and he doesn’t think anyone else should either.
“The mayor should not live there,” Mayor Bloomberg flatly told The Times. Mayors should sleep on their own dimes, just as he, and all other city employees do, the mayor, who has many many more dimes than most people, explained.
Mayor Bloomberg’s most recent declaration has led us to ask ourselves deep, probing questions, like what’s more entitled? Living in a free mansion on the East River or being so rich that you turn down the free mansion because you’d rather stay in your own, possibly nicer, mansion on the Upper East Side?
Candidate and former City Comptroller Bill Thompson has taken umbrage at the Mayor’s opinion.
“Mayors living in Gracie Mansion are part of the rich tradition and history of New York City,” said Mr. Thompson. “Mayor Bloomberg’s remarks fly in the face of former mayors Rudy Giuliani, David Dinkins, Ed Koch and every other former mayor who has lived there.”
What’s more, 2013 mayoral candidate and media executive Tom Allon told The Wall Street Journal that he not only planned to live in Gracie Mansion if he was elected, but had postponed moving from the Upper West Side to Brooklyn because of the possibility. Cheeky!
Showing considerable political acumen, potential candidates City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer declined to discuss their future living arrangements with The Journal, whose report prompted The Times to ask the mayor about the future of the 1799 home, one of the oldest in the city. (Although we would guess that Mr. Stringer, who has pushed to reduce the number of vacant properties in Manhattan, would be loathe to let Gracie languish).
One person who would like to see the inside of Gracie Mansion, at least for one night? The mayor’s girlfriend, Diana Taylor, according to The Journal. He has flatly refused.
But Bloomberg is a man of many mansions, many of them vacant for much of the year. In addition to his 12,500-square foot townhouse in New York, there’s his manse in the Hamptons, (known as Ballyshear), a townhouse in Cadogan Square in London and a walled estate in Bermuda where he likes to spend his weekends.
It’s too bad that a 2012 presidential run will not be in the cards for Mayor Bloomberg. We’d love to know what he’d have to say about all the freeloaders who have been living in the White House.