“Under Bloomberg, the number of parking tickets written is up 42 percent,” says Cooper Union professor Fred Siegel. “You’ve got parking cops who stand beside cars at 2:55 PM, waiting for them to be ticketed at 3:00. Some of this is legitimate traffic control. The rest of it is harassment for revenue’s sake.”
Bloomberg’s aides reportedly secured a mayoral luxury box at the new Yankee Stadium by relinquishing 250 parking spaces and revenues from three billboards.
Early on, Bloomberg fined businesses whose awnings were inscribed with anything other than the shops’ names and street addresses. Mere sales slogans triggered penalties.
More recently, Bloomberg installed nine new water filters in his City Hall office. Why? To lure employees to switch to tap water from that menace to society: bottled water.
Bloomberg needs to get back to basics. Crime, graffiti, homelessness, government spending, and taxes need to sink. Police patrols, clean sidewalks, economic opportunity, and fiscal restraint need to soar. To accomplish this, the last thing Michael Bloomberg needs is a Stradivarius.
– Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution.
© 2008 Scripps Howard News Service.