07/30/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mark Green

Today good government groups agree that it's bad government for two powerful officials to punitively gut the office that is a watchdog over them and the voice of kids, seniors and all hurting New Yorkers in the bureaucracy.

Why? Bloomberg and Quinn did this has, I think, an obvious answer.

Now that good government groups have weighed in, What Next? is the proper new question. There are four possible outcomes

* either this or the next Mayor push for an independent budget, as the IBO has;

* the Mayor refuses to budge and forces the next Advocate into an adversarial position with a tiny staff;

* the Speaker generously shrinks Member Items 2% to restore the PA budget; or

* ideally, Mayor Bloomberg takes the high road, acknowledges that 40% is not 4%, restores the difference in a budget modification -- and re-earns the good will of government reformers and the next Advocate.

Unlike the stalemate in Albany which requires concurrence of two equal warring sides, this resolution is entirely in the Mayor's hands. He once changed his mind at a bill signing when he heard arguments about horse-drawn carriages. While I appreciate that he has announced not to seek the elimination of this 178 year old charter-mandated office, I urge him not to do by budget what he pledged not to do by charter.

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