Around this time last year, Councilman Bill de Blasio led the fight against Mayor Bloomberg’s term-limits bill, writing that the extension was a “Machiavellian plan” that needed to be stopped. It wasn’t stopped, of course, and with Mr. de Blasio now poised to become the city’s next public advocate, Mr. Bloomberg is issuing his own threats about Mr. de Blasio’s new job.
“You should get rid of the public advocate. It’s a total waste of everybody’s money. Nobody needs another gadfly and we have an aggressive enough press,” Mayor Bloomberg told the Staten Island Advance. (The mayor has felt this way for some time.)
Mr. Bloomberg’s most recent budget trimmed $1.1 million out of the office’s $2.8 million dollar budget for next year, but–should he win a third term–Mr. Bloomberg has said he plans to convene a commission to review city government, and might press for the public advocate to be eliminated. “”Whether it is worth the political battle, I don’t know,” he said.
Mr. de Blasio issued a statement in reply, which happened to mention term limits: “Mayor Bloomberg cannot keep changing the rules to suit his political needs. He extended term limits without giving the voters a say and now he plans to eliminate the one Citywide office that is a real check on his power. I hope Mayor Bloomberg will reconsider his comments because our city government, now more than ever, truly needs checks and balances.”
Given Mr. de Blasio’s penchant for public action, the steps of City Hall could be bustling with mayoral opponents over the next four years–or for as long as his office is in existence.