An investigation by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has determined the City Council rubber stamped the Bloomberg administration’s Willets Point plan after it had been illegally lobbied by the Flushing-Willets Point Corona Local Development Corporation, led by former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman. As a politician with many years of experience in city procedures and requirements, it would appear Ms. Shulman either knew what she was doing was improper or should have known. Equally criticized was Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City Economic Development Corporation and The Coney Island Development Corporation for illegally lobbying. (“City admits illegal Willets Pt. lobbying,” July 5, multiple editions).
As captain of the ship, Mayor Bloomberg must assume the responsibility for the above. As when he and his cabal of term-limited City Council members overturned the public’s endorsements of term limits, this may be a black mark on his legacy as mayor. Term limits are now the law, but if Bloomberg wants to redeem himself on illegal lobbying, he should insist the City Council enact legislation withdrawing its approval of his Willets Point plan, and the process should start anew without illegal lobbying. Should he fail to do so, the City Council and Speaker Christine Quinn, who aspires to be mayor, should do so on their own.
The public is entitled to the fresh air of good and honest government and nothing less.