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Bill courts Manhattan Beach

The Brooklyn Paper
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Mild−mannered Comptroller William Thompson didn’t exactly come out swinging when he visited the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association (MBNA) last week, but he did have some choice words for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past,” Thompson said in professorial tones.

Thompson, New York City’s chief financial officer for the last seven years, is hoping to somehow derail the Bloomberg juggernaut this fall and prevent the mayor from stretching his two terms in City Hall any further.

Thompson blasted the current crop of Bloomberg campaign ads running incessantly on television, calling them “political fiction.”

“Mayor Bloomberg, after eight years, is trying to reinvent himself,” Thompson told MBNA members gathered inside P.S. 195 on Irwin Street. “We’re paying a lot more and getting nowhere.” Despite the current mayor’s much−touted business acumen, Thompson said that New York City under Bloomberg has been “overly dependent on Wall Street” and is now paying the price.

Thompson saved his sharpest bid of rhetoric lacing into the mayor for backing a 14 percent hike in water rates immediately following two previous increases of 11−and−a−half and 14−and−a−half percent.

“We are being gouged and ripped off,” he said. “We’re being overcharged and it’s excessive.”

The comptroller also took aim at other revenue generating schemes like increasing the sales tax and slapping a five−cent tax on plastic grocery bags.

“It seems to be counter−­productive to ask the public to dig deeper,” Thompson said.

The comptroller offered a simple remedy for those unhappy with the way Bloomberg has decided to tackle the financial crunch.

“The mayor likes every one to call 311,” Thompson declared. “Call 311 and say I’m tired of being ripped off.”

The comptroller also lamented a two−and­half−b­illion−d­ollar budget deficit for next year, but said that the City of New York has taken steps to cut spending.

He forecasted an improved economic outlook in 2010, and advised homeowners struggling to keep up with increasing property taxes to appeal their tax assessments if they believe they are unfair.

MBNA President Alan Ditchek left no doubt about his preferences, bidding the comptroller good night and declaring, “We hope he comes back when he’s the mayor of New York City.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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