Thursday, May 13, 2010

De Blasio on Mayor's Island Lifestyle, Investments by Reid Pillifant - The New York Observer

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After speaking to a breakfast gathering of The Association for a Better New York this morning, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio talked about the mayor's absence from the scene of the Staten Island ferry crash this weekend.

"The history of mayors in the city is being very hands-on, being at the site of each incident," Mr. de Blasio said. "I think it's important for the public to see that. I think the public values seeing their chief executive at the scene of any difficult moment."

Mayor Bloomberg has declined to tell reporters where he was when the crash occurred--saying he was monitoring the situation by phone. Mr. Bloomberg maintains a house in Bermuda, where he often goes for the weekend, according to reports.

"I think we understand the mayor has a lifestyle, and that doesn't mean he's not a good mayor on many levels," Mr. de Blasio said. "But I wouldn't do it. It wouldn't be my choice. I think it's better for the mayor to be here seven days a week."

Mr. de Blasio also said it would be better if the mayor's foundation kept its money closer to home--rather than investing in offshore hedge funds, as the Observer detailed a few weeks ago. In his remarks, Mr. de Blasio had advocated for applying a "nation-building" model of economic activity to New York City.

"I think we're at a point where we're all thinking of a certain economic nationalism," he told the Observer after his speech. "What I was trying to say here today is that we all have to invest in New York City and we have to invest American resources in America. So obviously I'm not comfortable with the notion of putting money offshore."