Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bloomberg vs. Gracie Mansion

Since 1942, NYC mayors have had the privilege to live in a beautiful riverfront home called Gracie Mansion. Nestled on the Upper East within Carl Schurz Park, it is the old home of magnate Archibald Gracie that was gifted to the city and turned into a mayoral residence by city planner Robert Moses. The first mayoral resident was Fiorello LaGuardia and every mayor since then has lived there ... 

... until Michael Bloomberg.

Mike doesn't live there. He doesn't need to. As a multi billionaire, he has a mansion of his own on the Upper East Side. He also has homes in Bermuda, London, Colorado, Florida, and upstate New York. Obviously, unlike most New Yorkers, he's not hurting for space. He also doesn't need the tax-payer funded domestic staff that comes with it. And as a very rich man, the fact that he declines to live on the government dime is probably appropriate. When you already have your own mansion, why move into another?

But Mike thinks that no mayor should live in Gracie Mansion. He's saying that whoever succeeds him should follow his example and decline this privilege. And he's on the warpath about this for some reason -- as though this is something he even has any say in.

... Sigh ...  

See, Mike, most mayors aren't billionaires -- or even millionaires -- and most don't have mansions and domestic staffs of their own. When you're running the biggest city in the country, you should be able to be committed to the job 100% -- you shouldn't have to worry about paying household bills or getting your place cleaned or going grocery shopping or picking up your dry cleaning. And what about security? The NYC mayor is a big terrorist target -- shouldn't he or she live some place that's totally secure and doesn't put other people -- like his or her neighbors -- at any kind of risk?

Besides, NYC is bigger than 40 of our 50 states and most of them have governors mansions -- why shouldn't the mayor of the nation's biggest city not also have an official residence? 

It's times like this that our mayor shows how elitist and out of touch he is.  

It's times like this that I can't wait for the Bloomberg era to be over.

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