The New York Daily News is by no means a conservative news paper. Be sure to consider that fact while you read the letter issued in Sunday’s version of the paper as they rip the corrupt mayor to shreds and reject his request for endorsement.
Dear Tenant Bill de Blasio:
You have requested a seal of approval on your upcoming, new four-year lease on the public trust. Regrettably, we are compelled to deny your application based on an exhaustive review of your first term.
The disqualifying factors include a persistent record of governing ideology-first, overpromising epochal transformation and blatantly infecting City Hall with the worst pay-to-play culture since the heyday of Democratic Party bossism.
In a meeting with this Editorial Board last month, you went out of your way to signal that reckoning with bitter failures has made you a better mayor. Lessons learned with the battle scars to prove it, etc., etc., etc.
However genuine your uncharacteristic admissions of error may be, you now propose to apply the same template to a second four years as the one that brought you and New York to this pass.
Sleep-walking through this somnolent campaign, you have offered precious few ideas that show hope of achieving grandiose goals.
A pledge that all public school kids will read at grade level by third grade — but no plausible plans to propel tens of thousands of kids toward foundational, future-brightening literacy.
A promise to close Rikers Island jails in a decade — but a half-baked blueprint for overhauling the detention system.
A vow and a vow and a vow to get the homeless off the streets and into decent community-based shelters — and another and another and another.
All this is perfectly consistent with your first-term governing m.o.: promise transformational change, apply attention-deficit management and trumpet progressive principles, while actually, quite frequently, rewarding political allies.
To be sure, the de Blasio City Hall tenancy produced some serious achievements.
Long-plummeting crime continued its historic decline under well-chosen NYPD Commissioners Bill Bratton and Jimmy O’Neill. Murders are on track to fall below 300 for the year, a major accomplishment in a city that once suffered more than 2,200 killings annually.
Significantly, crime has dropped despite the end of the mass stop-and-frisk program — as you had predicted while we had doubted.
Universal pre-K has been a boon to thousands of working families. A minimum wage increase, for which you fought, and expanded access to paid sick leave also eased financial hardships.
So too do you deserve credit for ramping up production and preservation of affordable housing — a necessity as ever greater numbers of people who work in the five boroughs can’t afford to live here.
Vision Zero, a noble attempt to make the city’s streets safer, especially for pedestrians, has reduced fatalities by lowering city speed limits, redesigning dangerous intersections and more.
But blinkered, often sanctimonious governance, cultivation of big-money donors, casual commitments of billions in long-term budget obligations and plain old bad management have, individually and cumulatively, worked against the public interest.
No innovation in the city’s public education ecosystem has improved student performance more than charter schools. Arms locked with teachers union sponsors, you have looked at them as intruders and threats to be contained.
Yes, across the system, test scores are rising, as are graduation rates — but gains are exceedingly slow, including in your centerpiece Renewal School, which have gotten hundreds of millions of dollars for new programs and supports.
You first stood by while the public hospitals bled red ink, opting instead to wage a doomed fight to keep open private medical centers at the behest of the union 1199SEIU. When a rescue plan finally came, the strategy relied on mythical federal and state funds, with an unwise assurance of no layoffs and no building closures.
On homelessness, easing entry into shelters while freezing shelter construction condemned thousands of children to live in horror hotels and shoddy apartments, at the extraordinary cost of $5 billion and counting. Now that community goodwill is exhausted, it’s little wonder neighbors are hostile to seed the city with 90 new shelters.
In the jails, a crusade against solitary confinement empowered violent inmates to bathe Rikers Island in increasing bloodshed. A worse than ineffectual commissioner hit taxpayers with the bill for nearly 2,000 new correction officers, even as the number of inmates declined.
Across the government, resistance to tough choices and a ballooning payroll have swelled the budget by more than $10 billion under your watch. It takes nerve to ask the middle class, already paying soaring property taxes, to shoulder more.
Which brings up your cavalierly false claim that demanding huge checks from contributors doing business with City Hall is a bug, not a feature, of your administration.
Equally galling, you wear as badge of honor that prosecutors decided against indicting you or yours, in no small part thanks to porous corruption statutes. Shameful indeed was the federal court testimony of one $193,000 donor who described purchasing ready, steady access to your attentions.
Tenant de Blasio, neither of your opponents has earned the public trust. Nicole Malliotakis has spent seven unimpressive years as a Republican in the state Assembly, hardly a testing ground for leadership. Bo Dietl, a former police officer, is a joke, and not even a funny one.
But you, Mr. de Blasio, are the one who has already been granted the public trust, and asks approval for an extension. Answer: no.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) November 5, 2017