Comptroller Thompson: 'I am definitely running for mayor--no really I am'
Nayaba Arinde | 4/15/2011, 4:48 p.m.
Asked if he was offended as a resident of the city or as a politico with eager ambitions, the Bed-Stuy native told the paper, "I was insulted as a New Yorker. Polls showed that...the people wanted to have their say. Term limits came from them, and then they reaffirmed their decision a second time; and now the mayor is bending and changing the rules without going back to them."
While some city council-members and supporters of term limits are in court, challenging Bloomberg's desire to stay in office for an extra four years, Thompson said certain city councilmembers were targeted. "People were being pressured and threatened throughout the whole time," he said. "The question should have gone back to the community." People came out in huge numbers for the election, said the comptroller, predicting a long-term after affect. "Everyone saw what the people can do. President-elect Obama built a grassroots movement, and New Yorkers came out. The people were empowered, changing the course of the country," Thompson noted. "I think it inspired the people." A peeved people can be a motivated-to-action people. The comptroller said, "People are watching the budget cuts and seeing that they are not equitable. [Bloomberg] is talking about closing more senior centers, but this is not to save money, but just the mayor's vision of what senior citizens should be."
Thompson has just launched a petition drive and called on City Hall and the Department for the Aging (DFTA) to withdraw the Request for Proposal (RFP) for Congregate Programs for Older Adults.
"I demand that City Hall and DFTA immediately withdraw their misguided plan to restructure senior centers," Thompson said. "I have launched this petition drive to mobilize concerned citizens who want an outlet to express their disapproval of this plan." Senior citizen centers are not just halls where elder members of the community hang out, but places where people were able to go to meet friends, to have a life line, "otherwise they would not leave their homes."
Thompson said that the dire economy is hitting the people hard.
"Then there's the $400 rebate. Mayor Bloomberg is talking about the property tax and rolling back the 7 percent."
Speaking just before Paterson delivered his dire tax and cut budget, Thompson told the AmNews, "We have been tightening belts, and they have been making cuts since January [of] this year. We have got to be careful. There have been two rounds of cuts, and there's about to be a third, where there is talk of making cuts to the police and fire departments. We have to protect those most vulnerable to run into hard times, and the state hasn't even started to make cuts yet."
With a $15 billion deficit, he said, "Everyone is trying to move forward to reduce the deficit. But there can't just be cuts, we have got to talk about increasing taxes."
The millionaires' tax? "Yes, we will be revisiting taxing millionaires." He added, "The city has been a lot more restrained than the state."