It was hard not to come to the conclusion last week that City Councilman Leroy Comrie is himself at times a few french fries short of a Happy Meal.
The rotund legislator became the self-appointed chief of the food police when he asked the Council to pass a law that would ban fast-food establishments from placing toys in kids meals with more than 500 calories.
His law would force McDonald’s to stop putting toys in Happy Meals.
Comrie is concerned fast food is contributing to the obesity problem faced by the city’s children. The councilman may be right. Fast-food restaurants are contributing to what has become a near epidemic of obesity among the nation’s children.
If the law works here, city Health Commissioner Nirav Sha says the state might follow suit. She argues that the state will do whatever it can to help parents make healthy choices.
But this law would make the choice for the parents. If passed, the city becomes the food police. This is a decision parents should make, not Comrie or the city.
Ironically, Comrie’s wife said her husband is a closet junk-food junkie.
The city took a step in this direction last year when it required restaurants to post calorie counts. We are not certain this did much good, but it did little or no harm. Comrie’s bill, on the other hand, goes too far and tramples on free enterprise and individual liberty.
Welcome to ‘A Guy from Queens’
Mayor Michael Bloomberg all but admitted last week that hiring Cathie Black to run the city schools was a mistake. He called a press conference last week to announce he and Black agreed that her resignation was in the best interest of the children attending city public schools.
At the same time, he announced he was appointing Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott as the new chancellor. Walcott is everything Black is not. He describes himself as “a guy from Queens” and notes that four generations of his family have attended the city public schools.
We believe Walcott has the skills and experience in the public education system that will enable him to be an effective leader. We are proud the mayor has selected “a guy from Queens” to run the public school system and we wish Walcott success.