Mayor Bloomberg wasn't kidding about wanting a bigger role in the redevelopment of Ground Zero: He made sure the Daily News could tell World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein that Bloomberg wanted him to "Butt out, Larry". Gotta love the tabs and how they cut to the chase. Bloomberg told the Daily News Editorial Board, "It would be in the city's interest to get Silverstein out, [but] nobody can figure out how to do it yet. And can you imagine the stink if you gave him half a billion dollars or a billion dollars in profit to get him out?" Not if it's your own money, Bloomberg!
Among of the other things Bloomberg told the board: The September 11 victims' families may be too powerful for the own good of redeveloping downtown ("What merchant is going to rent a store and then get picketed? So there are some real practical aspects.") and that residential buildings and schools should be built, instead of all the commercial space (clearly an election year way to get in the "affordable housing" part of his promise). Responses: One 9/11 families organizer called the mayor a "dictator" and the Port Authority says that laws prohibit building residences down there. Recents polls do confirm that most people want Mayor Bloomberg to run things at Ground Zero, versus Governor "The Lamest Duck" Pataki, but who knows if the Mayor would be able to wrangle things down there. It's like the Wild West, but in pinstripe suits, American flag buttons and more than enough ego to go around.
Do you think the Mayor should try to push Silverstein out? Or should the Mayor go back to figuring out what went wrong with the West Side Stadium plan?