Mayor Bloomberg is well known for his globetrotting.
He spends several weekends a year at his five vacation homes in places like Vail, Colo., and London. Bloomberg has not been forthcoming about when and where he is at all times. Now, a bill in the City Council would require the mayor to tell the public when he is away from New York City.
From the New York Times:
In the complicated marriage between Mr. Bloomberg and those he governs, there had always been an unspoken understanding: He ran the city well, and they resisted the urge to poke into his private life.
But with his mishandling of the Dec. 26 snow storm, the City Council and the public are much less willing to give Bloomberg the largely unprecedented amount of privacy he has previously been afforded.
It was unclear during the blizzard which city official was in charge of handling the storm, and Bloomberg has repeatedly refused to disclose where he and other top officials were when the snow brought New York to a standstill.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is sponsoring the bill that would require the mayor to say when he is leaving town, and who is in charge during his absence.
"During such a crisis, no time should be wasted trying to figure out who is in power," Vallone Jr. said.
The Times points out that former mayors like Ed Koch have disclosed when and where they are while on vacation. Even President Obama makes where he spends much of his free time available to the public.
Bloomberg's spokesperson, Stu Loeser said the mayor has earned his privacy.
"The mayor is at work by 7:15 most mornings, and entitled to hours off and a private life, Loeser said. "And whether he's in Bayside, Bay Ridge, or visiting his mom in the Bay State, he's always reachable and always in charge."
Loeser said the Mayor never fully relinquishes power when he leaves New York.
Vallone's bill would not require the mayor to disclose where he was on vacation, but to simply acknowledge his absence and disclose who is in charge while he's away.
"I almost always believe that a more open and transparent process works better," Vallone said.
Marsha Zoback of Bay Ridge agrees.
"I completely support it," Zoback said. "If you don't want to tell people where you are going, don't be in public office."