He may not be seeking a fourth term, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg will nonetheless have an outsized influence in the coming years on City Hall.
With just 203 days left of his administration, Mr. Bloomberg unveiled a far-ranging, 250-plus-point plan to harden the city against future storms like Hurricane Sandy, dumping a massive–and hugely expensive–$19.5 billion to-do list on his successor’s lap.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the push to open the September 11 Memorial and Museum by the tenth anniversary of the attacks after Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released an audit citing the drive to open the facility by the historic date as a major factor behind $3.8 billion in cost overruns at the Ground Zero construction site.
By the end of the month, Chris Ward, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be out of a job. Some of his aides and allies—and even possibly the big man himself—think they have a good position lined up for The Man Who Saved Ground Zero: mayor of New York City.
“Mayor Bloomberg has changed the public perception of what it means to be mayor, and that is a good and a bad thing” one Ward aide involved in the recruitment efforts told The Politicker. “People think this is a job for someone outside of politics. Chris kind of fits that bill. He is a chief executive, and chief executive of a huge municipality. Do we want to revert to form after we’ve broken the mold?”
While most of the pressure has come from those in Mr. Ward’s orbit and a few outsiders (call them the Wardens!), the lumbering, loquacious life-long civil servant would not pass up Gracie Mansion if the opportunity presented itself. Over the past few months, since things started to go south at the Port Authority under deteriorating relations with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mr. Ward has been saying in private that he would not mind running for political office, in particular mayor, according to a person present for some of those conversations.