Mayor Bloomberg's popularity is declining, according to published polls. The decline seems long overdue, given his administration's fiscal failures, snow clearance failures, repeated demonstrations of enormous incompetence, and shocking race-based policing approach.
Poor Poll Results
Mayor Bloomberg's popularity is as low as it has been since early in his first term eight years ago. A new poll shows that only 39% of New Yorkers approve of the performance of Mayor Bloomberg, while 51% of Mayor Bloomberg's constituents disapprove of his performance.
Eighty-four percent of New York City respondents to the pollsters stated that the Mayor should identify who is in charge of the city when he is out of town (the Mayor makes regular trips to Bermuda on weekends but does not state publicly where he will be or who is leading our city when he is not available).
With the Mayor's popularity plunging, we are compelled to speculate as to the reasons for the decline.
Perhaps the people of New York City are exhausted with the intensity and the nakedness of the racially discriminatory policies and behaviors of the Bloomberg Administration. The stop and frisk nightmare continues; the Mayor continues to refuse to adopt a non-racist approach to hiring fire department; and the Mayor continues to employ the least diverse administration in a generation.
After nine years, the basic decency of the people of New York City is offended by the behavior of the Mayor as he pursues indefensible approaches to law enforcement and hiring.
Fiscal Mistakes and Incompetence
Mayor Bloomberg's fiscal mistakes and incompetence are likely a major piece of his lack of support from his constituents.
The Mayor mismanaged the city's expenses and attempted to buy political support by spending tax dollars as well as by making charitable donations from his personal funds. His misuse of taxpayer funds to build his political alliances has left our city with an unhealthy imbalance between revenues and expenses as well as a record of stunning growth in the city's expenses.
The Mayor also allowed more than $80 million to be stolen from a $63 million project, and that $63 million project is now expected to cost nearly $1 billion. For a Mayor who based his campaigns on his strength as a manager, the missing $80 million and the nearly $1 billion of cost overruns on one $63 million project tell the real story of the Mayor's competence.
Not only did Mayor Bloomberg fail to prepare the city for the snow storm on December 26, 2010 that crippled the city, his decision to organize the city as if snow does not fall in NYC resulted in more than $115 million of city expenses for snow removal - a new record and nearly twice the previous record, even though this season's snow fall was not the largest snow fall on record.
Though the Mayor has been leading City Hall for more than nine years, he organized the snow removal approach of the city to assume that no major snow storm would hit our city. When his risky bet moved against him, our city suffered enormously and had to reach out to expensive private contractors to do the work of the city.
Polls Represent Perception Rather Reality
While Mayor Bloomberg has earned his low poll numbers, his poll numbers were high when he was not succeeding as a leader. We should not assume that his poll numbers are an accurate reflection of his success or failure. We do know that support for racists policing, fiscal irresponsibility, and incompetent snow removal planning are not acceptable realities for a Mayor in our city. The Mayor should change his approach to leading our city or show true leadership by stepping aside to allow others to fix the mess he's creating.