Friday, January 3, 2014

Running a Big City

Image assuming responsibility for running New York City. It is a city larger than many nations and with a budget larger than most nations. It is really the BIG apple! And here in the MINI apple the problems are quite the same as are New York’s – a bit smaller but no less important.
by Charlie Leck

The new mayor of New York took over Wednesday. Image walking into your office at City Hall. You turn to you secretary and chief advisor and ask: “Where do we begin?”

The New York Times quotes him as saying, in answer to the question about his campaign promises: “We won’t wait. We’ll do it now.”

The same editorial also calls for a dose of reality when it reminds us that, in regard to the mayor’s promises, he –or any mayor – “has limited ability to deliver.”

Thanks for the reminder. But now, how about some constructive advice? New York is both an incredibly wonderful city and a hell-hole on earth for some people. It is home to some of the richest people on earth and they often live only a few stones’ throws away from people who dwell in near squalor.

Unfortunately, his first day on the job required Mr. de Blasio to deal with a huge snow storm that was stalling out the city. He also had to deal with dozens of press questions about the treatment his predecessor received in several of the inaugural speeches. Mayor Bloomberg is too good a man and did too good a job as the city’s chief executive to receive that kind of treatment. Bill Clinton came to the rescue when he modified his own speech with ad libs that praised Mayor Bloomberg for his hard work and his constant love of the city.

I like Mayor Bill de Blasio. His campaign promises were hyperbolic – even if he doesn’t realize it – but they point to a certain and true direction that must be taken to bring about more equality for all the citizens of New York – along with more hope and possibility for the children of the city.

The new mayor is an extraordinary liberal and I applaud that. I just know that liberalism must be tempered with reality and this mayor must start there – within the realm of reality – and then do all he can to equalize things for all the city’s residents. It’s a goal that should be applied whole-heartily to the entire nation.

Cities, including the marvelous one 25 miles away from my country home where I now write, are spectacular places with overwhelming problems. Snowstorms are only one of them. They are also places of great wealth and miserable poverty. The latter must be ended as completely as possible. The only way it will ever happen is if the rich and the poor work together at reasonable and sensible goals. Our new mayor in Minneapolis and Mayor de Blasio will be the keys to unlocking such possibilities.

Good luck to them both! They’ve got remarkably tough jobs ahead.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges begins her term with an awful and calamitous fire that took place in the main Somali community of the city. It destroyed an entire building that included apartments and a grocery store. There were two deaths. The victims of the fire will be in difficult straights for months to come. I went to a web page this morning that is receiving contributions to help them. And, I contributed! I recommend it to you also – http:

We stand straighter and stronger when we stand together!


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