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Bloomberg Looks On The Bright Side – QNS.com

Bloomberg Looks On The Bright Side

An optimistic and well-received Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered a simple message to a capacity crowd at the Cryder House in Whitestone last week: “The best for this city is yet to come.”
With a panel of city commissioners representing the departments of Transportation, Aging, City Planning, the FDNY and the NYPD, Bloomberg addressed pressing issues such as taxes and schools, and stressed increased government accessibility.
Assisted by moderator Charles Eisenhardt, president of the Cryder House Civic, Bloomberg also reported on city statistics: crime is down 34% in four years, fire deaths have dropped to the level of 1919, and the number of pedestrian deaths is the lowest it’s been since 1912 — when, Bloomberg pointed out, “cars were pulled by horses and my mother was only three years old.”
“It’s quite an amazing job the NYPD has done in bringing crime down in every category,” he said. “The city is safer than it has been in a long time and we’re going to continue working on that.”
Bloomberg also addressed an area of big concern for northeast Queens residents — overdevelopment — and announced that Beechhurst and Whitestone are in the process of being rezoned so as to maintain their neighborhoods’ integrity and identity.
Having cut $4 billion from the city budget in the past four years, Bloomberg went on to say, “We are working as hard as we can to do things efficiently and honestly to make sure that your tax dollars are used wisely.”
During the town hall meeting, many in attendance seemed concerned about the future of the city’s public school system.
“As a retired teacher,” one resident told Bloomberg, “I see fewer paras [paraprofessionals] and aides in the classrooms now.”
Another said that although emphasis is being placed on math and reading skills, other subjects — such as social studies — are not being stressed in the classroom.
In response, Bloomberg replied, “We have more students in our school system than Detroit has people. We have put back a music and arts curriculum in schools, and we have increased spending on education by $2.5 billion.”
The mayor said he has made education reform a top priority of his administration and seemed well-pleased by the results of his efforts to date.
Citing a marked increase in last year’s test scores, Bloomberg went on to say, “We have the best large-city public school system in the country.”
toni@queenscourier.com

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