Michael Bloomberg, who has already cut the budget for the public advocate drastically, said he’d be okay if the office were done away with entirely.
“A lot of people have proposed getting rid of the public advocate’s office,” Bloomberg said at the Columbus Day parade this morning. “I think if you have a charter revision commission, maybe they’d want to look at it.”
Bloomberg went further in his comments with the Staten Island Advance, saying “You should get rid of the public advocate. It’s a total waste of everybody’s money.”
At the parade, Bloomberg said, “I think a public advocate’s office should be looked at by a commission to see whether or not it provides enough value to justify the public dollars that we spend.”
The next likely public advocate, Democrat Bill de Blasio, is poised to make himself of the bigger problems facing Bloomberg in his possible third term. De Blasio is in the habit of organizing large groups of protesters, and has strong ties to labor unions, which could help elevate the volume on any fight unions have with a mayor who is likely to have to respond to the city financial shortfall by making cuts to city services.
“Mayor Bloomberg cannot keep changing the rules to suit his political needs,” de Blasio said in a public statement which also mentioned the mayor’s extension of term limits. “[O]ur city government, now more than ever, truly needs checks and balances.”
The Republican candidate for public advocate, Alex Zablocki, called Bloomberg’s comments “wrong” and a “gimmick.”
After cutting the public advocate’s office by 40 percent, Bloomberg downplayed the notion that he’d try eradicating the office all together.
“Nobody’s suggesting cutting them out, but it may just, it may very well be that we cannot afford to have any one agency at the level that it was before.”