Mayor Warren Wilhelm’s dismal, embarrassing presidential campaign taught me something: New York City has too many elected positions. We got on just fine without a mayor for four months. We don’t need a mayor. We also don’t need borough presidents, who are basically cheerleaders for their respective boroughs. All we really need is the City Council, the CCRB and the City Comptroller. Maybe the Council can appoint a city manager -a de-facto mayor- that they can hire and fire at will. But the Council has the power. The Mayor is just a public face and figurehead. The mayor of New York has always been a dead end job. But now I realize it is an unnecessary job. Let’s revise the city charter and get rid of the office.
An interesting footnote to de Blasio’s four-month vacation, er, I mean campaign, is that he was tailed and harassed by the PBA and the NYPD. The police decided to do a little work slowdown in response to the firing of one of their own who murdered a low-level offender on the street. And what happened? New Yorkers had a slightly better summer as a result. Up until to the UN General Assembly, I saw fewer cops, and I felt no less safe.
So thank you for the work slowdown, NYPD! Our hearts are breaking for the poor, unappreciated NYPD rank and file. To my knowledge, the police have never been held accountable for their behavior. They have been groomed to expect that incompetence and even murderous misbehavior will-and should-be dismissed, with no ill consequences for the police. If that really begins to change, it will constitute a revolutionary moment in police/community relations.
Imagine a New York with fewer cops and no mayor. One can dream. I dream of just that, in federalized city known as the District of Gotham.