NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With 2020 almost over, the New York political calendar turns to the mayor’s race and thoughts of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s successor.
While there’s no shortage of candidates, the next occupant of Gracie Mansion will have one tough job and a list of problems to solve, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
- Empty storefronts
- Nearly deserted streets
- A school system failing its students
- Tenants who cant afford to pay the rent
- Landlords who cant pay their mortgages
- Restaurants going under
- A transit system deeply in debt
- A city deeply in debt
With all those problems, and a whole lot more brought on by the COVID pandemic, it makes you wonder why anyone would want to succeed de Blasio as the next mayor of New York City, and yet more than a dozen people do.
What will the next occupant of city hall have to do?
“The first thing the next mayor needs to do is restore confidence of New Yorkers in the city,” said Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, a group that works with the leaders of business, government, labor and the civic sector to make New York City better.
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Wylde is well aware New York City isn’t expected to reach its pre-COVID level of success and economic well being until 2024.
“It’s clear that we’re talking about four difficult years,” she said.
She says the next mayor can’t just make promises. He or she must have a real plan.
“A four year plan of how we’re going to recover, how we’re going to make sure we’re a healthy city, that we’re a safe city, that our schools are functioning effectively and that the people who have lost their jobs or lost their businesses during the COVID are not going to be forgotten,” she said.
It’s not going to mean the knee-jerk reaction of raising taxes and cutting the size of government – which has grown by 20% since de Blasio took office.
Wylde says it’s about running government more efficiently, using technology, and getting others to contribute time and money to making the city better.
“Financing this is going to require private and philanthropic resources. Not just city revenue,” she said.
It’s not like New York City has not faced fiscal adversity before. The Big Apple came back from the fiscal crisis of the 1970s and the decimation of the World Trade Center attacks.
All it will take is a mayor with a plan, not afraid to call audible plays from the sidelines or, in this case, the bully pulpit.
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