Archive for May 30th, 2003

30th May
2003

First Published in The New York Sun, May 30, 2003

By Andrew Wolf

Often, I have been critical of Mayor Bloomberg on this page, largely because I disagree with 99% and 44/100 ths of his education program. But one area that he and I are in full agreement is the issue of nonpartisan municipal elections. No reform of city government would be more meaningful and productive than this one.

Mayor La Guardia once suggested that there is no Democratic or Republican way to pick up the garbage. He was right.Most of what city government does has little to do with partisan concerns. But what really makes non-partisan elections so attractive to many of its supporters is that it would promote democracy in a town where our twoparty system has fallen apart.We may have elected Republicans in the last three mayoral contests, but that was due to extraordinary circumstances, not the presence of a consistently competitive system. The situation with the City Council is more indicative of the problems inherent in the current structure.

Rudolph Giuliani lost his first attempt to occupy City Hall to David Dinkins in 1989.Mr.Dinkins would have been re-elected had his administration been successful at any level.But the city was falling apart, enabling Mr. Giuliani to narrowly win his first term. Mr. Giuliani won re-election handily because he demonstrated that the ungovernable city could be governed after all. (more…)