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


Mortimer Zuckerman Publisher, Daily News


Choose your battles for maximum impact on the city's budget and quality of life, and make a persuasive case so the public will rally behind you. In every battle, the aims must be clear, incontrovertible, and fair, and translate into tangible improvements. Here are some ideas:

Draw a bright line in negotiations with the unions representing employees in the uniformed services--the police, fire, and corrections departments. This will set a pattern that redounds to the city's good in negotiations with other unions. The uniformed unions supported you, but there should be no raises without significant productivity gains. Then, move on to revamping how the city delivers sanitation services, by inviting major companies to compete for segments of the work.

Shake up the Police Department. As the NYPD has grown ever larger (which is good), it has become increasingly inefficient. Because too many cops are manning telephones and desks, when those jobs could be done far less expensively by civilians, the department wastes a healthy chunk of its $1.75 billion yearly budget.

Give up the fight over the shape of the Board of Education, and focus instead on two critical goals: making the schools safer and more habitable. The Division of School Safety is larger than all but eight of the nation's police departments, but is ineffective and mismanaged. And the Division of School Facilities has allowed hundreds of buildings to crumble under a backlog of fifty thousand repair orders.

The city needs a radical change in how it does business. The challenges you face are difficult, but the opportunities are stunning.

  • 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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