Advice for the New Mayor

Stern, William

Cove, Peter

Kotkin, Joel

Savas, E. S.

Biederman, Daniel

McCaughey, Elizabeth

Heinemann, H. Erich

Brooke-Hitching, Harley

Moss, Mitchell

Nathan, Richard

Zuckerman, Mortimer

Cornuelle, Richard

Mahoney, Margaret

Berger, Stephen

Wriston, Walter B.

Morris, Charles

Crouch, Stanley


Mitchell Moss Director, Urban Research Center, New York University


Since this is the season when everyone gives advice about what the new mayor should do, let me suggest what a new mayor should not do:

Do not appoint out-of-towners to run city agencies; new commissioners should already know how to get around the five boroughs.

Do not travel abroad during your first term. Many groups will suggest that you can win votes by going overseas, but New York City's population is too diverse for you to visit every homeland. Others will suggest that a foreign trip can generate jobs, but such travel is rarely productive. It's wiser to host receptions at Gracie Mansion and to participate in ethnic parades and street fairs. There will be plenty of time to travel overseas during your second term.

Do not treat the local press corps as the enemy. New York City has some of the best journalists in the nation-they're smart, resourceful, and competitive. Many columnists and reporters have spent their careers watching mayors come and go; seasoned journalists know how the city works--often better than the people they write about--and are not easily fooled.

Do not let the members of New York City's congressional delegation put their own concerns above the city's interests. The city's congressional delegation tends to be more concerned with national and international issues than with the future of our city. Make sure that this active but fractious group remembers to target money for projects and programs that will improve conditions within New York.

  • This document was created from the article, "Advice for the New Mayor" by Walter B. Wriston, Stanley Crouch, Stephen Berger, Charles Morris, Margaret Mahoney, Richard Cornuelle, Mortimer Zuckerman, Richard Nathan, Mitchell Moss, Harley Brooke-Hitching, H. Erich Heinemann, Elizabeth McCaughey, Daniel Biederman, E. S. Savas, Joel Kotkin, Peter Cove, and William Stern for the Winter 1994 edition of ... read more
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