Mayor Mike’s Rep Forever Soiled By Crane Tragedies?

trump-bloomberg-06-2008.jpgSo here’s something a lot of people are asking about Mayor Mike nowadays: Is it OK for him to take credit for the positive aspects of the building boom he’s presided over but wash his hands of the recent construction-site tragedies? The Times quotes a resident of the 91st Street building hit by the crane that killed two on Friday thus: I’m not going anywhere until I see the mayor. This is his fault. Fifteen people have died in construction accidents this year. DOB permits for new buildings have soared during Bloomberg’s administration. At a press conference following Friday’s deadly collapse, however, the mayor had this to say: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the DOB — D.O.B. didn’t crash; it was the crane that collapsed. Keep in mind that construction is a dangerous business and you will always have fatalities. According to political analysts quoted in the Times, the accidents have tarnished Bloomberg’s rep as a great manager. The Daily News had a story about how Bloomberg stayed on the air during his weekly radio show for 40 minutes after hearing about the accident. “He shouldn’t have stayed,” said mayoral candidate/City Councilmember Tony Avella. “It reflects his cavalier attitude about things happening in this city.” Will these accidents be remembered as the great cost of Bloomberg’s pro-development agenda?
Crane Collapses Prompt Questions on the Mayor’s Oversight [NY Times]
Bloomberg Takes Hit for Staying on Air [NY Daily News]
Photo by Piano Lady.

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  • Oh please. Anything to hate on bloomy huh Gabby.

  • A short answer “no.” Come one, put it all in perspective.

    DOB does seem to be responding – but shutting down small projects. A good friend of mine has had her two story addition project locked down since the first crash as the DOB inspector makes additional queries. Seems to me they are covering their asses in the wrong places.

  • What about past mayors like Mayor Dinkins who just stood there while NYC was hitting a high on murders and muggings and rapes…

    I think Bloomie is doing a great job and the cities crime is the lowest it has been…ANd development is everywhere…

    Bullcrap article just trying to be negative

  • Bloomberg is a junker. toss him out with the garbage. his “legacy” if you want to call it that is definitely soiled. no question.

  • I disagree completely with the people posting in the first 3 posts.

    My first thought when reading Bloomberg’s response after this 2nd crane tragedy was what a HUGE mistake he made. He absolutely sounded glib and cavalier, it was totally inappropriate, and it’s just flat out not the way to respond to a tragedy when running for National office. Lie through your teeth if you have to but to say basically “sh*t happens” like Bloomie did, that was retarded.

    He just showed us all he isn’t Presidential in the slightest.

  • All he did was scapegoat a commissioner who was an architect and an engineer and bring one in who is neither. Things will get worse.
    Good job.

  • I cannot wait for Bloomberg to go
    we are becoming an over-developed city – especially right here in Brooklyn -all thanks to Bloomie. He is incredibly frugal – I mean hello snow removal!!! – this winter wasn’t bad – but do you remember the past 3-4 years where news reporters would be out in the “boroughs” reporting 3 days after a snow storm from streets that still hadn’t been plowed? I also agree that his comments were totally glib and lacked true compassion – David Patterson showed more care for the family of the construction worker who was killed!

  • The press loves Bloomberg – nowhere does he get any blame. Of course it’s his fault – the buck stops there. He has given the city over to the greedy developers. I agree with 12:19, he was very glib, especially when he mentioned the 2 workers killed, and then one passerby. It was as if it was ok – that 2 of the three were workers.

    Where’s the outrage over all these deaths?

    His legacy will be that he succeeded in driving the working and middle classes out of the city. It’s pretty pathetic – A multibillionaire businessman for mayor and a dunce for president.

  • Bloomberg = elitist; condescending; intolerant of other points of view; dismissive of alternative opinions; insensitive. These accidents ARE a part of his legacy. That can’t be changed.

  • No one will remember the crane accidents except perhaps as a minor footnote. The buildings though will be a tangible and enduring legacy. Bloomberg is an old-fashioned tyrant. We have not seen his kind in NY since Robert Moses. Those are the kinds of SOB’s that get things built. His legacy will be huge.

  • 1:12

    This has hardly been a building boom.

    If anything, compared to other periods of strong economic growth – the past decade has been one of the weakest in the history of New York City.

    As for Brooklyn, the borough still very much looks like it did in 1930. If anything, this was likely Brooklyn’s last chance to FINALLY gain a leg up after the disaster wrought by the Great Depression. Considering how little new housing has been constructed during the strongest real estate market since that time – I’d say one can argue the borough will continue its decade long decline.

  • I agree for the most part with 2:29. To the anti-Bloomberg posters, what mayor in the last 40 years are we comparing Bloomberg unfavorably to? Running the city is a tough job and he’s not going to make everyone happy; at least he’s up to the job.

  • The question is will his rep be soiled by the crane tragedies.

    In the future, when his success in encouraging development is mentioned, some will recall that several men died in catastrophic construction accidents during the period.

    So the answer is yes.

  • As tragic as it was, and as cruel as this may sound, this will all be forgotten in a few months…as long as another one doesn’t fall!!!

  • I am curious — apart from what anyone thinks of the agency and development under this administration generally, if the cause of this collapse turns out to have been a defective weld, was it DOB’s fault and was it a failure of management? How far should DOB’s oversight go? What kind of oversight regime could reasonably be imposed by the City that would have caught this? If you were mayor, what would you do? I do not intend these as rhetorical questions; I am genuinely interested in responses on both sides.

  • This is perhaps the single most ludicrous post in the history of this blog (There are dozens of limestones and brownstones in Sunset Park for sale you could be mentioning for starters…not to mention the wood frames).

    4:26, you are heartbreakingly naive to believe that anyone will ever feel the need to point out that over a decade, a handful of construction workers died erecting thousands of buildings.

    When your parents visit from wherever you’re from (clearly not Brooklyn), do you point at the Brooklyn Bridge and curse the needless deaths of dozens of workers killed building it? When people drive onto the “Ari Halberstam Memorial Highway” getting onto the bridge do they really care that a van load of innocent kids was shot up by terrorists? Of course not, they just want to get around that Hyundai in front of them…

    NYers barely care about the deaths on 9/11 anymore. The mere concept that these deaths would even be a footnote on Bloomberg’s legacy today, tomorrow or a thousand years from now is simply hysterical, ignorant and reactionary.

  • slopefarm- the crane accidents are only the largest of a line of construction accidents that have been steadily increasing over the last few years, and that’s because we are seeing so much more construction. And the amount of oversight has gone down. Construction is an industry so tied up into the governing of the city (zoning, safety, services,transportation, etc)that it’s hard to make a case for giving them so much independence or allowing self-certification. That was sheer laziness- Bloomberg is a budget guy- to him it’s all about the numbers, not about the services. We saw that when he shut down firehouses. we’re seeing it now with the disproportionate construction of luxury condos and hotels. He happily supported more office space- and now Manhattan has a surplus- so much so that office buildings are now being sold and remade into condos. the organization I work for lost its office space because the
    building was sold for condos.

    The big issue- and its just my opinion- is that the city is not doing a great job in long-term planning. Instead, all the planning seems to be heavily dependent on luxury housing and tourism, and to that end Bloomberg is going overboard to remake areas of Manhattan into hi-end luxury enclaves. So the planning is not really about building realistic growth as a city (rich and poor neighborhoods, transportation, utilities, improvement of services and economy), but in redefining Manhattan as a gated community and the outer boroughs as its service area. All the development is notoriously lopsided (or do you seriously think only rich people will increase in great numbers?), and I don’t think very sustainable.

    Bloomberg stated in 10 years only those making over 100,000$ a year will be able to live in Manhattan. That’s what he’s working toward.

    Shoving the homeless out to Brooklyn- dumping Manhattan’s problems on Crown Heights is just one example.

    Pouring billions of public monies into giant projects that again, will cater to the luxury market.

    And there’s lots more- it becomes pretty obvious what’s happening.

  • I think it is important to remember that in the future, people will look back at us and think we were pathetic, deprived, backward, and shockingly short-lived. They will appreciate the valuable things we leave behind (such as sturdy buildings) and not give a second’s thought to the hardship and tragedy that were associated with producing them . they will be young, narcissistic, and clueless of the past, just like every generation before and yet to come.

  • bxgrl-

    Your points are well-taken. My question is, if the City does everything you think it should do, does it catch this particular problem before it caused ther accident. If so, what measure would have caught it? Gabby and the NYT posed the question whether this accident tarnishes the mayor’s record. My question is that, if it does, is it because it is symbolic of all the things you describe or was there an actual failure of management on the City’s part in this instance that resulted in the accident?