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Transition Trail

The text of Mayor Rudy Giuliani's Farewell Address

Giuliani's major addresses during his mayoralty

12/31
Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday chose Nicholas Scoppetta, who won praise for overhauling New York City's child welfare system the last six years, to be the city's next fire commissioner and rebuild a department that lost 343 firefighters in the attack on the World Trade Center. The appointment of Mr. Scoppetta, 69, came as something of a surprise because a few months ago he announced his intention to leave government when Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani left office. (New York Times)

Rudolph W. Giuliani leaves office tonight assured of one pedestal in the pantheon of New York mayors: no other modern mayor, not even Fiorello H. La Guardia, departed at the crest of his popularity. But precedent suggests that history - not the euphoria of the moment - will determine whether Mr. Giuliani, after two terms, edges aside La Guardia, who served three, as New York City's greatest mayor. ( New York Times)

Rudolph Giuliani hands to Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg a city transformed. During his eight-year tenure, when the national economy soared, the city became safer, cleaner, better run. He also restored the sense that a city that had once seemed out of control was, in fact, manageable. It is an accomplishment that may benefit or burden his successor.
Mr. Giuliani also turned city politics upside down, blurring the traditional distinctions between parties and changing the way that voters perceive candidates. In a predominantly Democratic city, he won two consecutive races as a Republican, and is being succeeded by a Republican. He was the consummate anti-politician politician; he consciously took extreme positions on seemingly intractable issues so that the resulting compromise would further his agenda.
All this is not to say that Mr. Giuliani solved every problem presented to him, or that he did not create a few along the way. The housing shortage, not just for the poor but for the middle class, remains a threat to the city's viability. A weakening economy and the terrorist attack have left the city budget with a projected $4 billion deficit beginning in July. The quality of education being provided to 1.1 million children in the public school system did not improve much during his tenure. And even the most careful municipal manager could not have prepared for the awful wound inflicted on the western side of Lower Manhattan. The Bloomberg administration will have to grapple with the cost of the cleanup and development while tax revenues and employment are plummeting. ( New York Times)

12/30
Preview of Inaugural address (Daily News) (New York Post) (New York Times)

25 personal facts about Michael Bloomberg (Did you know he dated Diana Ross?) (Daily News)

After eight years of management-by-confrontation under Giuliani, who fought with everyone from museum directors to ferret lovers to his own wife, New Yorkers should expect a less heated, more collaborative style of management at City Hall when Bloomberg takes office Tuesday. Goodbye, Generalissimo Giuliani. Hello, Manager Mike. (Newsday)

WCBS-TV/Channel 2 reporter Michael O'Looney will become the next deputy police commissioner for public information. (Daily News)

12/29
Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg announced another bevy of appointments yesterday, including Daniel L. Doctoroff, who headed the effort to bring the 2012 Olympics to New York, as deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding.
Mr. Bloomberg also named Verna Eggleston, a campaign consultant whose appearance in a Bloomberg advertisement caused a spat in the mayoral race, as commissioner of the Human Resources Administration.
And he appointed Gretchen Dykstra, who was president of the Times Square Business Improvement District, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Bill Cunningham, a campaign strategist known for a feisty relationship with reporters, was named director of communications.
Edwin MŽndez-Santiago, who heads the Spanish Speaking Elderly Council (Raices), a Brooklyn-based social services agency, was named commissioner of the Department for the Aging,
and Gino P. Menchini, an account manager at Cisco Systems, was named commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. (New York Times)

"Before Sept. 11, New York told a remarkably compelling Olympic story," Doctoroff said. "Post-Sept. 11 - certainly, we are not looking for any sympathy - but I think you've seen those [Olympic] values: the courage, compassion, the resiliency." (Daily News)

Multibillionaire mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg, who has said little about his plans for fighting poverty in New York, named as city welfare commissioner Friday the former head of a group that assists gay and transgender youth.
The incoming commissioner of welfare, Verna Eggleston, was director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute until this summer.Her name surfaced in a political controversy during the mayor's race when she praised Bloomberg in one of his campaign television ads and in a glossy campaign mailing. In both promotions, Eggleston was described only as a "child-welfare expert," when, in fact, she was a paid consultant for Bloomberg's campaign. According to filings, Eggleston got a check for $10,000 in mid-September, less than a month before the TV ad started airing. Democrats accused Bloomberg of trying to pass off Eggleston as an average voter. The Bloomberg campaign responded by confirming Eggleston's involvement and describing her as a "respected children's health advocate" who "quit her job to join his campaign."
Flanked by Bloomberg, Eggleston, also a child-welfare director under former Mayor David Dinkins, said Friday that she was not ready to discuss her goals for the welfare department, the Human Resources Administration. The department's child-welfare bureau has been spun off as an independent agency, and HRA focuses on outgoing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's goal to "end welfare," as he put it in a 1998 speech. (Newsday)

Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg still has many appointments to make, but so far, 10 Giuliani appointees are being retained or promoted.With 27 top jobs filled, here's how Team Bloomberg is shaping up:
Political affiliation: 19 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 2 Unaffiliated
Gender: 20 men, 7 women
Race: 20 white, 4 Latino, 3 black (Newsday graphic)

Giuliani's biggest regret, the mayor said yesterday, was not being able to abolish the Board of Education. (Daily News)

12/28
Praising his ancestors, his aides and, above all, his own two-term tenure, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani used his farewell address yesterday to laud New Yorkers for their strength and courage but also to snipe at those who spoke against him during the past eight years. (Newsday)

Mayor Giuliani made his most impassioned appeal yet yesterday for a "soaring ... beautiful" monument at Ground Zero that would rival the American war memorials at Normandy and Gettysburg. Speaking at St. Paul's Chapel, a block from where the World Trade Center once stood, the mayor called the site "holy" and "hallowed" and declared, "we shouldn't think about this site right behind us as a site for economic development." ( Daily News)

The speech, by turns playful, technical, religious and patriotic, was also notable for the ground it did not cover, which included subjects like children's services, parks and recreation, education and public health, even though they were outlined in a handout about what the administration considers its successes, which was given to reporters. (New York Times)

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's power to ensure that office buildings and commerce will not mar the ground at the World Trade Center site may be more symbolic than real. After all, the 16-acre parcel is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a bistate agency Mr. Giuliani feuded with during most of his eight years in office. The developer Larry Silverstein controls development on the site under a $3.2 billion lease he signed in July. Gov. George E. Pataki is in charge of the federal aid coming to New York for cleaning up and rebuilding at the site in Lower Manhattan. The Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corporation, which was created by Mr. Pataki and Mr. Giuliani last month, is coordinating the planning for reviving Lower Manhattan and creating a memorial. After Monday, Mayor Giuliani will be Mr. Giuliani, citizen. Nearly everyone from the governor to Mr. Silverstein has said some part of the site should be used for a major memorial. The unspoken concern among politicians and developers, though, is that if it is not done right, they will have to contend with the families of the victims of the attack, who may very well demand that all the land be protected, almost like sacred ground. And no one wants to get into what would almost certainly be a damaging public feud with the families. Although Mr. Giuliani will no longer hold public office, the politicians and developers are now concerned that he could become a lightning rod for the now unorganized and often unexpressed views of the families. (New York Times)

Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg appointed five city commissioners yesterday, reappointing one of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's commissioners, promoting two city deputies and an assistant, and tapping a doctor serving with the World Health Organization as the city's next health commissioner. With the appointments, Mr. Bloomberg showed himself to be unconcerned with criticism from some of his fellow Republicans that he was not naming enough Republicans to his administration: all five are Democrats.
William Bell, Administration for Children's Services
Neil Hernandez, Department for Juvenile Justice
Martha K. Hirst, Department of Citywide Administrative Services
Jerilyn Perine, Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Department of Health. ( New York Times)

Mayor Giuliani yesterday used one of his final vetoes in office to kill a bill that would have allowed an old rival and sometime critic to pay off a campaign debt. The bill would have allowed politicians with campaign debts to hit up loyal supporters for more cash after four years - even after they had contributed the maximum allowed by law. The bill was referred to in City Hall circles as the "Dinkins bill" because it would have allowed the ex-mayor to clear up a $200,000 debt from his failed re-election bid in 1993 - against Giuliani. ( New York Post)

Incoming Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced the first four members of his administration yesterday, including a veteran Borough Hall hand as his chief of staff. Jamaican-born Yvonne Graham will be the new deputy borough president when Markowitz assumes office Jan. 1, taking over for long-time Borough President Howard Golden. Joining her in the new administration are Seth Cummings, who will be general counsel, and Glenn von Nostitz, who will be director of communications.Michael Burke, who has worked in Borough Hall since 1997, will become Markowitz's chief of staff. ( Daily News)

A city ethics-board ruling about how Mayor-elect Mike Bloomberg must avoid conflicts with his media empire likely won't be made before he's sworn into office Tuesday, sources said. Bloomberg approached the Conflicts of Interest Board about a host of sticky issues involving his company. Bloomberg's sprawling empire could present one of the biggest challenges that ethics officials have ever had to sort out. ( New York Post)

12/27
Mayor-elect Michael R. Bloomberg warned yesterday that quality-of-life crimes appeared to be on the rise in New York City, and announced that one of the first tasks of his administration would be "a major effort" to roll back such offenses as prostitution and panhandling. (New York Times )

Mayor-elect Mike Bloomberg yesterday said he'd like to open the steps of City Hall to the public - but only if the police commissioner assures him it's safe. ( New York Post)

The Rev. Al Sharpton - who was unwelcome at City Hall under Mayor Giuliani - has been invited to the inauguration of Mayor-elect Bloomberg and other city officials, courtesy of Comptroller Bill Thompson. ( New York Post)

Michael R. Bloomberg's office said this month that the mayor-elect's transition team had begun consulting with experts to give Gracie Mansion a face-lift. The mayor-elect has said he will use it to entertain visiting dignitaries and for public functions, but not to live in. Decorator Jamie Drake has designed three residences for Bloomberg, and is likely to get the job for Gracie Mansion. He is a New York City decorator who plays his role to the hilt, flaunting a taste for exuberant color and showiness in his fake fur chubby, his orange-lined suits and his velvet paisley newsboy cap. As seen on the cover of the November issue of Elle Decor, Mr. Drake unleashed his most riotous impulses in his own home, a Manhattan loft done in throbbing pink, Tyrian purple and chrome yellow, the last thrown into high relief by a zebra-and-leopard-pattern rug. "I have very bold taste." ( New York Times)

During a news conference Wednesday, the future mayor of New York misstated where the ball drops at midnight on New Year's Eve. But Michael Bloomberg had no uncertainty about what he'll be doing at that moment. He said he'll be sworn in as mayor at a minute or so after midnight by outgoing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As he does every year, Giuliani plans to release the ball and count down its descent. This all will take place in Times Square, but Bloomberg didn't say so at first. "Plans are now that Rudy will drop the ball at midnight, in Herald Square, I guess it is," Bloomberg said. (Newsday)

James Molinaro, who is being sworn in today as Staten Island borough president in a private ceremony, said he would like to see a retirement community established on the island, perhaps in Charleston. "So many Staten Islanders relocate to other states because there is nothing available to them here," he said. Another major goal is to "finally see an indoor track complex with an Olympic swimming pool," he said. But he knows that he will face tough financial choices when he takes office on Tuesday. "There's no question we will be facing huge budget deficits, and many projects will be put on the back burner," he said. "Staten Island will still get its fair share, but it will be smaller, and the nonprofit organizations will take major hits." (Daily News)

Bronx Borough President-elect Adolfo Carrion has named four more people to his transition team. (Daily News)

More from the Transition Trail....