Advice for the New Mayor
Savas, E. S.
Heinemann, H. Erich
Wriston, Walter B.
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:
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.