I do not support New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his re-election bid. His understated style kept his arrogance out of the spotlight until he decided to overrule the will of the people and dump term limits. Mr. Bloomberg thinks he is able to help NYC face its challenges better than anyone else. I don’t believe he believes that. I think he is addicted to power like many others. After all, he is one of many elected officials who fall foursquare under the observation Abraham Lincoln made when he said, “Most men can handle adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Bloomberg took the test and failed miserably.
Having said this, it seems the New York’s Police Benevolent Association, the largest of the NYPD’s unions, will endorse Bloomberg. There is no human being on the face of the earth who respects the NYPD any more than I do, nor is there anyone who owes them more than I do. I owe them my life. It was Brooklyn’s 84th Precinct that responded with breathtaking speed when I was held up and shot in the head in 1984. One item in my bucket list is to save the life of a aw enforcement officer before my time is up.
So, let me say something to Mr. Bloomberg. If you win re-election, increase the NYPD’s starting pay. I know it was increased to $41,975 as of August 1 this year, but it should be much higher than that. While $41,975 may be nice pay in the rural areas of the state, it is disgracefully low for anyone trying to make ends meet in the pricey five boroughs. After all, Mr. Bloomberg, you and I and anyone paying close attention to your actions, know you are slowly but surely selling off the city to the wealthiest folks. The least you could do is make sure that the NYPD and, while you’re at it, the starting salaries of other first responders, are as high as any in the country. The starting base pay now for NYC firefighters is a $36,400, the starting pay for EMS professionals is $27,295, and the starting pay for paramedics is $37,346. There is no excuse for pay rates so low in NYC.
Raising all their starting pay should not be a problem for you. If you can overrule the will of the people for your own self-interest, perhaps you can do something for those who give their lives to save other peoples lives the pay they deserve. It’s the least you can do, Mr. Mayor. The most you can do, by the way, is resign.