In a spirited, even defiant speech that amounted to a fierce defense of his municipal stewardship – along with a healthy dose of self-congratulation – Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg delivered his 12th and final State of the City address on today, rattling off accomplishments of his three terms and pledging to do more in his remaining months in office.
The speech struck a boastful and occasionally sassy tone for a mayor in the twilight of a three-term mayoralty, suggesting that Mr. Bloomberg feels he has established a high bar for running New York City. He referred repeatedly to his political independence, at one point chastising his fellow elected officials, most of them Democrats, for not backing his plans to break the union representing striking school bus drivers.
“The special interests and campaign donors have never had less power than they’ve had over the past 11 years,” he said, alluding to the fact that his personal wealth has allowed him to refuse campaign donations. “And this year, we’re going to show them just how true that is.”
Mr. Bloomberg, speaking to an audience that included most of the candidates seeking to succeed him, made no secret of the fact that he is concerned that the next mayor might take a different approach to the city. Speaking about a proposed rezoning of the area near Grand Central Terminal, he said, “We won’t rush the rezoning – but we won’t allow obstructionists to run out the clock, either.”
And then, in a sentence that could sum up his attitude toward his final year in office, he said, “Given all the politics and special interests, if we don’t do it this year, it may never get done.”
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