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Michael Bloomberg: New Mayor for New Era

January 07, 2002

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke the truth during his inauguration when he said it was time to be thrifty ("N.Y.'s New Mayor Sounds Cautious Note," Jan. 2). New York has had enough problems in the past four months and faces even more as the economic fallout from Sept. 11 really hits home. A new stadium for the Mets and Yankees is a luxury that cannot be afforded. And, since former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani all but ignored education, a lot has to be done to get the city schools back on track. That will take lots of money. Bloomberg was also right to advocate cutting city staff and set a great example by leading the way with cuts in his own office.

Finally, holding the Bush administration accountable to its word will be tougher than he thinks. After President Bush made those promises, he also made promises to a host of other needy parties, committing billions in the process. Fuzzy math aside, it's going to be interesting to see how Bush comes up with all the money to do it. But Bloomberg has to press Bush to step up in order to keep New York's issues in the main spotlight. I wish him all the success in the world. He won't have an easy time, but he can make history in his own way.

Eric Potruch

Los Angeles

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In "Mayor Mud's Last Hat Trick" (Commentary, Jan. 3), Norah Vincent refers to Giuliani as "just another petty potentate, Napoleonically short and short-tempered ... the worm in the Big Apple."

However, one has to be impressed by this leader who transformed a city rotting from crime, prostitution, dilapidated buildings and homelessness. When I visited New York City two years ago, it was a transformed city. People were walking down Broadway and through Central Park at midnight. The city was safe. It was clean. It was beautiful. It was livable. I came back to the San Gabriel Valley and told my colleagues that if Giuliani can do it in New York City, we can do it here.

Giuliani is tough. Sometimes you have to be tough. We have too many people in politics who are weak-kneed toadies for unions, lobbyists and other special interest groups. Our cities would be better off with more Giulianis at the helm.

Anthony R. Fellow

Vice Mayor, El Monte

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