Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese is blasting hizzoner’s budget and two of his campaign rivals for failing to secure vital funding for city services.
Albanese savaged Bloomberg’s plan to slash funding for education and leave the city in the lurch for billions of dollars in unresolved contracts with public employees — which the former Ridge councilman blamed on hizzoner’s absence from the negotiations with teachers’ unions — and claimed his leading mayoral campaign opponents have done nothing to help the situation.
Albanese said Bloomberg did pretty well during his first two terms, but went on to point out that hizzoner vowed not to leave office with the kind of massive debts he inherited from the Giuliani Administration, and suggested that the mayor had broken that promise with his costly failure to reach a deal with educators.
“It’s a promise that is transparently false,” said Albanese, who represented Bay Ridge from 1982 till 1997. “The next mayor will inherit a fiscal mess because of these outstanding contracts, and the damage to our schools is unnecessary because if the mayor had sat down and talked to the teachers, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
But the career maverick didn’t lay all the blame on Bloomberg. Albanese said Council Speaker and likely mayoral contender Christine Quinn failed to use her leadership position to pressure the mayor into taking part in the union negotiations — which Albanese suggested was because Quinn hoped to secure hizzoner’s endorsement and fund-raising clout.
“She should have been on the phone with him, telling him ‘Mr. Mayor, you have to get in the room with these people,’ ” said Albanese. “Instead she makes these lukewarm statements about opposing the mayor’s policies, but she also wants to be on his good side.”
But Albanese dismissed Public Advocate and mayoral hopeful Bill DeBlasio’s proposal to refill municipal coffers by raising taxes on the wealthy, arguing that such a move would drive the rich into the suburbs and deprive the city of revenue.
“DeBlasio’s plan is ridiculous. You would have to be ignorant of economics to think that will work,” said Albanese.
The mayor’s office answered Albanese’s attacks by arguing that Bloomberg had successfully steered the city through tough economic times while balancing spending and revenue.
“Even coming out of this financial crisis, the city has fared better and had a balanced budget,” said spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua.
DeBlasio’s campaign refused to reply to Albanese’s criticisms, and Quinn’s office failed to respond to repeated requests for comment.