Goldsmith 'doesn't know jack s--t about New York'

Dateline: Wed 29 Dec 2010,-meet-the-Republican-responsible-for-this-mess

Guess who's taking his lumps for the failure to clean up the streets of New York City, especially the boroughs, in the wake of that city's Superdump snow Sunday?

Nobody other than our very own little ol' Stephen Goldsmith, former mayor of Indianapolis (1992 to 1999) and now No. 2 in the administration of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Goldsmith's chops include his time spent as a government-management wonk at Harvard, plus his tenure as mayor here. What was always so odd about the latter was that he got great press nationally, but at home, he couldn't get, well, jack s--t in decent reviews. Prophet without honor, and it's happening again...weird, or what?

Bloomberg hired Goldsmith earlier this year to be a Big Cheese in the Big Apple; Bloomberg was impressed by Goldy's rep as a financial wizard and genius at running cities. As deputy mayor, he oversees cops, fire, transportation and sanitation.

But now, alas, there's garbage on his parade.

According to Daily Kos, linked above: "His (Goldsmith's) performance has been nothing short of abysmal (re: snow removal). Since he isn't from here, doesn't know jack shit about New York, and only just now got on the job, it isn't surprising that he fell down on the job. Worse, this guy touted himself as a public services management guru."

NYC Councilwoman Letitia James also nailed him, saying, according to Daily Kos, "that the reason for the failed effort to clean up the city's streets was because Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis whom the administration brought on this year, instituted a centralized snow removal plan that relied less on local community boards and their sanitation garages." Just to amplify, she also made these charges on CNN's "American Morning."

The real issue apparently is the unionized sanitation workers, who claim their ranks are depleted due to retirements and that Goldsmith and Co. have not hired enough replacements -- and in fact, demoted 100 supervisors and sent them out to shovel the streets.

This is deja vu of the Republican Hoosier's emphasis on centralizing of power, if you want to call it that. Or, it's an echo of too little, too late, too damn cheap, if you're of the other persuasion.




Tell The Truth [Member] said:

For 30 years, Indianapolis ignored expensive infrastructure problems. All at the altar of "no new taxes."

It kept Republicans in power for a long time, from the origins of Unigov until Bart Peterson's election in 1999.

The litany is a sad tale of projects needed, but delayed, or avoided altogether, strictly because of the pricetags:

1. A combined sewer overflow situation that will end up costing us over a billion to fix; when first pointed out by (Republican) Councilwoman Beulah Coughenour 20 years ago, the fix was about $140 mil. She wouldn't go away, and the facts were with her: Goldy & Co. banished her.

2. The jail, a mutual effort of city and county: a conservative Republican federal judge ruled it was inhumane and overcrowded 23 years ago.

3. A lousy duplicitous public safety system whose overlaps cost us millions each year.

Goldsmith did not tolerate questions. Ever. Ask Bill Hudnut.

Thankfully, he's gone. But, the King Tut attitude usually works well in the Apple. Wonder when the shine wore off?

I've been in NYC in snowstorms. Nothing more pissy than a stalled or snowed-in New Yorker. You stack 10 million people on top of one another, isolate them for a few days, and tempers flare.

But Blumberg should've seen this one coming.

2010-12-29 20:25:11

hendy [Member] said:

Bloomberg is taking the heat for all of this, not Goldsmith. Amusingly, he's not running for re-election, although he paid a scandalous amount to be Lord of New York this past round.

We've roundly castigated Goldsmith in this space before. But he's up against NYC unions now. They're tougher than he is. Yet NYC, like CA, is broke. And it's going to get broker when the pension fund crap hits the fan this year. NY taxes are going to be unbelievable, and a further exodus is going to empty even more people to Conneticut, NJ, Delaware, RI, NH, even Maine.

I once applied for what appeared to be an extremely well-paying gig on Long Island in the late 90's. I did the math, and the net left me with almost nothing. Oh, wait....

2010-12-29 21:53:30

jim [unverified] said:

typical goldsmith performance.
1.) do "all you can with the money available"
2.) tell those who complain that they had better get used to it. they really don't deserve any more
3.)tell everyone else that this is good government, they are just a few vocal complainers who don't understand government efficiency.
4. Go home to a "safe enclave" where you use the fat salary given to you by the public to hire privatized snow removal who do such a "great job" you are convinced that this is what the whole city needs. (Charter Schools)
5. Congratulate yourself for being so smart.

2010-12-30 07:36:45

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

"jim"--are you sure you aren't a former Goldsmith wife? You're spot-on.

You left out:

Invest in a company that navigates all around government, sucks contracts out of government, ,and makes money.

The neocons hate government, except when they love it so much they want to buy it.

Goldsmith's buddies? Consistency is not one of their goals. Convenience is their mantra.

Well, that, and money.

That said, it's probably unfair to heap too much criticism on Goldy for this NYC mess. Many New Yorkers are sitting around waiting for the next fight to start, or finish. It's a unique NYC thing. They're not happy unless they're scruffing with someone. I know that's a generalization, but man, it's true too many times. Again, it's a basic law of nature: if you stack ten million people on top of one another in a space we Hoosiers would put 400,000 tops...there is going to be a Winter of Discontent. Or pick the season.

The snow is the week's convenient whipping boy. They'll move on when his carcass is cold. They always do.

2010-12-30 08:45:30

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"jim"--are you sure you aren't a former Goldsmith wife? "

Did he get rid of the crazy one who insisted on riding her horse with the Sheriff's patrol in the 500 Festival Parade?

2010-12-30 13:25:35

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

She got rid of him.

(For the record--what's wrong with riding a horse in the parade?)

2010-12-30 14:17:22

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

How many former Goldsmith wives are there?

I only know of one. And she wasn't the crazy one in that relationship.

2010-12-30 14:51:04

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"(For the record--what's wrong with riding a horse in the parade?)"

Nothing. But if you ride at the front of the Sheriff's Mounted Patrol, you are expected to be a Sheriff. She was famous for her insistence on perks.

2010-12-31 07:00:43

ish [unverified] said:

Goldsmith's track record of snow removal while mayor of Indianapolis was abysmal.

During his term, he ordered DPW to make several main thoroughfares, like Kessler Blvd to be "secondary streets". Never mind that Kessler, along with its 56th St portions, runs from Hancock County to Hendricks County, and is the only major E-W road between 38th St and 86th St.

Apparently Bloomberg didn't check references very well. If he'd asked the citizens of Indianapolis what we thought about Steve, he'd have gotten an earful

2010-12-31 09:07:03

ruthholl [Member] said:

The beau geste is that the story showed up in the Star...this morning. A tad late.
I am a little surprised he relegated Kessler, since he lived off Spring Mill. But perhaps he was a Meridian kind of guy.
I do think Goldsmith was handicapped by the Star; no matter what he did, (some, top) reporters hated his guts.
Maybe this NYC press crowd is actually softer than Indy's was....altho obviously, this is not a good sign.

2010-12-31 09:32:05

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"(some, top) reporters hated his guts"

He was cold, distant, condescending, fancied himself the Smartest Man In The Room and brooked no differences of opinion.

A little schadenfreude is justified. Hudnut should be feelin it.

2010-12-31 10:04:53

jim [unverified] said:

Nope,not even his girlfriend. Bloomberg is taking the heat but you can be sure he will not take it alone. Goldsmith is smart but sure is a true republican - don't confuse it with democracy.

2010-12-31 10:38:27

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Boy I'd forgotten what Ish reported above Goldy did revolutionize the way we plow snow with city resources.

Ask folks around town, how many live on small out-of-the-way streets. Ask how many have resorted to one of two snow-removal methods: GPITHTIA** or private contracting, paid by residents.

**God Put It There, He'll Take It Away.

That's the method use don my small Irvington circle this past week. So, we hoped for warmth, which we finally got.

Are you listening ,Melina?

2011-01-02 05:48:32

whosear [Member] said:

I took a Capital Budget and Management class in the early 90's, and got an idea of privatization going on as the prof was going to go to Indy as the Deputy Budget Director. I recall that in his first year he tried to budget for snow removal. First ridiculous idea as who knows how much snow is going to fall in a given winter? I recall that the policy was changed, and it seemed that they handled the following years better.

I've talked to clients in Costa Rica who were involved in both the public and private areas in New York to know that it's a mess to deal with. Guliani and other Republicans have to finesse a diverse political base in order to rule there. And the union situation is absurd. Andrew Cuomo is enlisting the support of the private unions to pressure concessions from public unions as the public pie has shrunk.

2011-01-06 20:07:02

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