2009-09-25 / Letters

Bloomberg Let Us Down

Dear Editor,

The middle class was statistically run out of New York during the Bloomberg administration, with the emergence of the highest property tax in the land at 18.5 percent for several years. New York endured the second highest commercial office rents in the world, had the highest apartment prices in America, and suffered with eternally increasing water rates. At one time, the City of New York hired hundreds of new plumbers and threatened to cut off the water for over 4,000 homes for these ruthless, escalating water bills.

After 9/11, many buildings on Wall Street were allowed to rot and were later converted to luxury apartments for the super rich. Meanwhile, God only knows if we will ever see the World Trade Center again, since Mayor Bloomberg has openly suggested that he wants more housing around Ground Zero in public media displays of his recovery plans. It seems to me that our harbors, ports, and coastlines are just being given away to the highest bidder. There was also widespread evidence of corruption and wild spending with federal 9/11 money, according to published Congressional reports.

Since Bloomberg has been mayor, I have seen shamefully sad one page advertisements in newspapers begging him not to take away people's entire neighborhoods for his new development projects. They begged him not to take their homes, but Bloomberg and the City Council proceeded anyway to make plans to run folks out of their own communities. In the Rockaways, there were encroachment tricks, folks were told that part of their property belonged to the City, when it did not, just so they would be forced to sell their homes.

I remember all the sad signs around Ground Zero as businesses which had been there for 40 years, were forced to close down so that luxury apartments could be built in their store locations. I remember boarded up buildings up until 2003 and 2004, while the only visible construction around the World Trade Center appeared to be luxury apartments for the rich. This led to precious office space and their businesses being pushed out of lower Manhattan. It seemed that Americans were losing control of our own coastlines, harbors, and ports, which are now subject to more foreign ownership. What will happen when Americans no longer own America?

Our schools are still a mess and 40 percent of students still never graduate from high school. Where are the reading labs for struggling older students? Where are the reading textbooks and writing workbooks for elementary schools? Where are the math workbooks with more examples of solved problems? Where are the history books for first grade, with big pictures, plays, and arts and crafts? Is there any curriculum taught in special education, or is it just a holding pen for the lost and unloved? If Bloomberg wants to be mayor again, he had better get some educational reform and if he has sold his soul to the developers, then he needs to buy his soul back!

JEAN JENKINS

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