Don’t ask Michael Bloomberg if he’s optimistic

Bloomberg on Monday. (via NYC.gov)
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Earlier today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent a public letter to the city's congressional delegation requesting nearly $10 billion in federal aid.

This afternoon, a reporter asked him if he was optimistic about getting that money.

"I'm always optimistic," he said, deadpan. "I always believe that we're going to win. I still think we're going to get that stadium on the West Side. I still think we're going to get the 2012 Olympics. I'm always an optimist and never give in."

The city failed in both its bid to build a stadium for the Jets, and in its bid for the 2012 Olympics (of which that stadium was an element).

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Bloomberg made his remarks at a press conference warning New York City landlords in storm-damaged areas that they would be subject to "enforcement" actions should they fail to get heat, electricity and hot water returned to their buildings, especially with the cold weather coming.

To reinforce the point, the mayor had his health commissioner, Tom Farley, talk about the role that cold weather plays in exacerbating asthma and other chronic health conditions, and in causing pneumonia, heart attacks and hypothermia.

According to the mayor's office, about 5 percent of buildings taller than six stories in affected areas still lack some utilities, while 30 percent of multi-family units of fewer than six stories still lack them.

Bloomberg said the number of New Yorkers without utilities is hard to estimate, but is somewhere around 25,000.

When David Chen, a reporter from the New York Times, asked him if he would elaborate on those enforcement actions, the mayor said, "No."

"I won't even take that as a question," said Bloomberg. "We're expecting everybody to cooperate."