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Bloomberg Begins Final Year In Office

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Jan. 1, 2013. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This New Year marks the final year in office for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and his resolution for 2013 is to remain relevant – even as New York City focuses on choosing his successor.

As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, the mayor lined up with the Radio City Rockettes to kick off the New Year countdown, and like many in Times Square, he made many resolutions.

WCBS 880′s Jim Smith Reports

“Personally I’m always working on my waistline, my Spanish, my golf game,” he said.

But professionally, he also has plans for his 12th and final year as mayor.

“We can get an awful lot done in the next 365 days,” he said.

For instance, Bloomberg hopes 2013 brings final approval of his plan to rezone 78 blocks of East Midtown to spur construction of modern skyscrapers.

“Hopefully, whoever comes after us can take these things and build on it,” he said.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported Bloomberg is also looking forward to the planned soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and to getting development going on the West Side and continuing work at the World Trade Center.

“I’d be thrilled if Silverstein can get another tenant, and get going with the rest of building number three downtown,” he said. “I think that would cement that development going forward.”
The mayor is clearly thinking about his legacy, and in Brooklyn, political consultant Gerry O’Brien told Aiello that he thinks Bloomberg is running a risk.

“Focus on the problems at hand – the fact that there are still people without electricity and heat after Hurricane Sandy; the fact that there are still people without jobs in New York City; that unemployment is still way too high,” O’Brien said. “So focus on the here and now, and I think his legacy will take care of itself.”

Two thousand thirteen will be the year that some of Bloomberg’s local initiatives finally bear fruit.

In March, his ban on certain large sugary drinks will take effect. In May, the bike share program he proposed in 2010 will finally roll out. And in the final months of 2013, we will start hailing Bloomberg’s “taxi of tomorrow.”

But Bloomberg is also clearly determined to make an impact outside the Big Apple this year. For instance, the mayor, who serves as co-chair of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is promising to use some of his vast personal fortune to advocate for gun control.

“We have a gun problem that this administration and Congress has to do something,” he said.

At this time next year, Bloomberg will have left office. But with billions in the bank, he won’t be leaving the public stage.

What do you want to see Mayor Bloomberg do in his last year in office? Leave your comments below…