Huh. After the NY Times reported the Mayor's plans to pursue a federal waiver to help childless adults get food stamps (on the front page, no less!), Mayor Bloomberg changed his mind. Well, maybe not change his mind so much as "overrule" two of his aides who were the ones really working on the program. The NY Times called Bloomberg's decision "rare," as he usually gives people under him autonomy (the man loves delegation) but apparently Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Human Resources Administration Commissioner and Verna Eggleston might have leapt before Bloomberg was convinced of the new change in policy. Newsday says that "Bloomberg met with his senior staff and decided against it," according to an anonymous City Hall source. Gibbs issued a statement saying:
"After further consideration, we have decided that this potential policy change is not consistent with the mayor's goal of helping New Yorkers become self-sufficient, and we have asked the [state] not to seek a federal waiver on the city's behalf. Because we believe that every New Yorker who can work should work, we will not pursue a federal waiver for single, able-bodied adults at this time."
Ow - if Gibbs worked for Giuliani, she'd be out the door by now. It's pretty disappointing, because it was a good change for Bloomberg to revise welfare policy.
And speaking of Bloomberg, he's thinking about 2009 - he may wants Time-Warner Chairman and CEO Richard Parsons to run for Mayor. The connection to this story? The Mayor's Commission for Economic Opportunity has a co-chair who happens to be...Richard Parsons.