12:42 pm Aug. 30, 2012
Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning said that, compared to Albany, New York City's government is well run, and Council Speaker Christine Quinn deserves a lot of the credit for that.
"I think a lot of that's because Chris Quinn has in all fairness over the last four years, implemented a lot of changes that makes city government more open and [more] conflict-free," said the mayor on Thursday morning.
The purpose of the press conference was not to reinforce the notion, yet again, that Quinn is his favored candidate for mayor in 2013, but to unveil Staten Island's first bus rapid transit service, along Hylan Boulevard, connecting the Staten Island Mall to Bay Ridge.
The new service will launch September 2, making it the fourth rapid transit route in New York City. Unlike regular city buses, which often merely crawl through snarled city traffic, New York's so-called "Select Bus Service" gives buses dedicated lanes, require they make fewer stops, and in some cases, have passengers buy their fares from kiosks at bus stops, rather than on the bus itself.
But during the question-and-answer portion of the press conference, reporters were more curious about the demise of Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez amid sexual harassment allegations, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's involvement in secretly settling some of those allegations, and what the mayor thought about all that.
As before, he declined to say much, making him one of the few elected officials at this point not to, at the very least, condemn Lopez's alleged behavior with female staffers.
But he did take the opportunity to compare New York City's political culture favorably to Albany's, something which he credited, in part, to Quinn.
Quinn is running for mayor next year and, among the field of people vying to replace Bloomberg, Quinn's thought to be his favorite.
He did nothing to dispel that notion today.
Bloomberg called the City Council and city government, in general, "one of the most open and conflict-free legislative-executive governments [of] any place I know."
"I think it's the ethics of New York City—you know, you can always make it better, but there's an awful lot more disclosure here, there's an awful less potential for things being done incorrectly," he said. "We have disclosure, the public advocate, the comptroller, the mayor's office, the City Council. I think a lot of that's because Chris Quinn has in all fairness over the last four years, implemented a lot of changes that makes city government more open and [more] conflict free."
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