The vulnerability of being in public office while running for another post. Struggling to gain traction, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral rivals are now blaming her for Mayor Bloomberg’s third term because she let it happen, it happened on her watch.
“You broke it, you own it,” Public Advocate Bill de Blasio blamed Ms. Quinn, this morning, for the increase in small business fines by justifying the extension of term limits.
“You can thank Speaker Quinn and those who believed in giving Michael Bloomberg a third term by changing the term limits law for the fact that small business was under attack for the last four years, especially in the outer boroughs,” he said at a forum hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Bill Thompson echoed a similar note, Erin Durkin of the Daily News reports. “Those penalties and fines have accelerated in the third term, they’re backdoor taxes, and that’s exactly what the Bloomberg administration is doing - and to be honest about it, Speaker, we have you to thank for that third term,” he said
In response, Ms. Quinn ignored the term limits issue and touted her business record. “It is easy for everyone to identify what the problem is, and I agree that small businesses have been hit too hard with fines and penalties. But I’ve done something about it, not just talked about it,” she said. “This isn’t the overall solution, there’s more that needs to be done, I’m clear, but these are tangible steps that...have made things better, and thats what our job is about, fixing problems, and when I’m mayor I will go even further in this area.”
Further pressed on the term limits extension, she reiterated her previous explanation that it was the right thing under the economic circumstances. “I believed at that moment in time given the very extreme challenging economic times we were in - I hope we don’t see those again - that it was appropriate to give the voters a choice,” she said.
To which City Comptroller piled on, following her comments. “If you go around the city and ask small businesses if they think they’ve gotten a break in any way these last few years, I dare you to find one small business owner in this city who will say that the City Council got together with the mayor and made changes that made life easier for them,” he said.