Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tensions With Bloomberg Drove Klein To Resign by Jaya Saxon - Gothamist

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Amidst the drama over Mayor Bloomberg's appointment of Hearst Magazines head Cathie Black as the new Schools Chancellor, former (or, still current) Chancellor Joel Klein has remained pretty quiet. Other than thanking Bloomberg for giving him the "best job of my life," and that he decided two terms was enough, he hasn't given much of a statement about just how sudden his resignation was. And now sources tell the Daily News that it may be because Bloomberg had grown "disenchanted" with Klein. "Joel is very astute when it comes to relationships. He saw what was happening," said one source. "He wants to make some money and take on a new challenge. It made sense for him to go when he did."

They also say that Bloomberg, mindful of his legacy after three terms, possibly didn't want to be associated with the polarizing Klein. "It had just gotten worse and worse. As Klein's relationships with politicians and the teachers became more contentious, he was no longer winning the important battles inside City Hall," said a source. So of course he went and picked the most controversial replacement possible, earning both him and Black endless flack from politicians and concerned citizens alike. Klein is denying everything, and said, "I am leaving because I am ready to pursue a new career. The mayor wanted me to stay, and my wife is thrilled to be general counsel of Sony. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong."
With regards to the Cathie Black kerfuffle, Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro put his two cents in favor of Bloomberg, saying, "He made the right choice. Joel Klein was not an educator, and he made tremendous strides. You don't need to be an airplane mechanic to be the head of....American Airlines." No, but you probably shouldn't need to "get up to speed" with the inner workings of the airline industry when you're hired.