Monday, August 29, 2005

Eliminating the Public Advocate

Anyone who is familiar with my campaign knows that my #1 issue is eliminating the office of Public Advocate altogether. Recently I came across this NY Post editorial from last December that makes essentially the same points I have been making throughout my campaign. Now that I think about it, I do recall reading this editorial at the time, but I had forgotten about it. Anyway, I agree with everything below:

28 December 2004
New York Post

Publicity-hound lawyer and public scold Norman Siegel says he’s decided to challenge incumbent Betsy Gotbaum next year for New York City public advocate – a position whose only other prior holder was Mark Green. Apparently, the 2-to-1 trouncing he got from Gotbaum in the 2001 Democratic primary runoff hasn’t lessened Siegel’s appetite for the office.

Well, that’s his right, of course.

But does anyone need further proof of this job’s utter uselessness than the fact that Norman Siegel aspires to win it?

Voters in 2002 overwhelmingly approved a measure that not only stripped Gotbaum of the ceremonial position of presiding over City Council meetings but also mandated a special election within 60 days of a mayor’s incapacity – instead of letting the public advocate take over for the rest of the term.

In other words, whatever substance this job might once have had is gone.

Since then, Gotbaum’s most notable achievement has been a “report” charging that the 2003 summer blackout inconvenienced seniors. Wow.

As for Siegel – well, it’s been 15 years or so since he last took a pitiful, mentally ill homeless woman to Harvard as a “lecturer” on NewYork’s shortcomings.

But the fact remains that the Public Advocate, a job created 10 years ago, is the most pointless political position in the entire city. It provides nothing of value except a platform for someone who likes holding press conferences – to wit: Green, Gotbaum, Siegel – and hopes to run for higher office.

And that’s no reason to be spending scarce tax dollars. This position has to go.


Post a Comment

<< Home