Bloomberg’s Mixed Legacy

To The Editor:

In re: Bloomberg’s Legacy - Queens Tribune Dec. 19-25, 2013, while there may be some aspects of Bloomberg’s tenure as Mayor that may leave a laudable legacy, his partnership with 21 term-limited City Council members to overturn twice public-supported term limits, will not be among them. Nor will his abysmal record in support of small business and his contempt for local community boards. Not only did Bloomberg ignore the overwhelming majority of Community Boards 7 and 3 (48 votes against and 24 in favor) that did not approve the Mets Ball Club and The Related Companies manipulation of the Willets Point project approved in 2008,  so as to allow a 1.4 million square foot shopping mall at Citi Field, but he also ignored the fact such a mall will wreck havoc on all the small businesses on Northern Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue, 108th  Street and other shopping areas and create enormous traffic problems.

He engineered an enormous taxpayer giveaway to multi-billionaires with regard to Willets Point. He refused to accept the fact that a huge shopping mall is a radical change of use from that of a parking lot and required a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure; all for the benefit of big business, which he consistently considers his true constituents. He is forcing the eviction of many small businesses from Willets Point without their having other places to which to relocate. He justified the Willets Point project on the basis the area was a blight, ignoring the fact it was the City that caused the blight by collecting sewer taxes when there were no sewers and other taxes without dealing with the area’s infrastructure.

Perhaps the most egregious of all is his romance with real estate moguls, and his failure to understand small businesses are not only the backbone of our local economy, but unlike big box mall stores whose profits are often posted to head offices located far from New York City, their money stays and is spent in our communities.

Bloomberg’s legacy will surely include a lack of care or interest in the poor, the middle class and small businesses and may well exceed those things that could be considered laudable.

Benjamin Haber,
Flushing