The Record: May 2003

An "unfortunate" string of NYPD communication and supervisory failures led to the botched grenade raid that left a churchgoing Harlem woman dead of a heart attack, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday. (NY Post) The errors were detailed in a damning report issued by the police Internal Affairs Bureau, two weeks to the day after the woman, Alberta Spruill, died. (Daily News) In an unusually candid report on the May 16 raid and the events that led up to it, the department said that officers did not monitor the woman's apartment or take any other actions to verify an informer's tip that drugs were stored there, information that turned out to be false. Officers also did not question the convicted drug dealer who supposedly used the apartment, even though he had been arrested days before the raid. (NY Times)

An official state letter informing retailers of the upcoming state sales-tax increase reads more like campaign literature for Gov. Pataki. Pataki's objection to the sales-tax hike is noted three times in the seven-paragraph letter from Tax Department boss Arthur Roth notifying businesses of tomorrow's quarter-percent rise in the rate. The letter - which was sent out this week to more than 500,000 businesses following the state Legislature's override of Pataki's budget veto - says that the sales tax legislation was passed "over the objections of George E. Pataki." (New York Post)

Beginning Sunday, the tax man cometh -- like gangbusters. A hundred dollars of shoes and clothes will cost a family an extra $8.25 in sales taxes in most areas. That reflects the new 4.25 percent sales tax and the return of state sales taxes on clothing and footwear sales under $110, which has been suspended for three years. (Associated Press)


Several private groups, including the City Bar Association, filed legal papers yesterday in defense of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's plan to reorganize the city's local school districts, which has been challenged in a lawsuit by state legislators. That lawsuit, filed in state court by State Senator Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat, contends that the mayor's plan, called Children First, violates state law. (NY Times)

The battle to save the Queens and Prospect Park zoos has become a top priority for a major City Council bloc, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to slash $5.8 million in operating funds forcing members to seek alternative cuts. (Newsday)

The city's ticket blitz hammers lower-income New Yorkers - and Mayor Bloomberg doesn't care, several black and Latino Council members charged yesterday. "Again, Mayor Bloomberg is showing his preference for the rich," said Councilwoman Helen Foster, co-chairwoman of the Council's Black & Hispanic Caucus. (NY Daily News)


Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council reached a mini budget deal yesterday, in which the mayor agreed to a few very minor concessions about revenue and financing for programs, and the Council agreed to enact the city's sales tax increase. The agreement is a prelude to the big city budget deal that is still weeks away. (NY Times)

Due to a surprise fiasco at City Hall, the city will be unable to raise its sales tax as expected Sunday when the state sales tax increases - and a battle was brewing Wednesday night between the Bloomberg administration and the City Council over whom to blame. (Newsday)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, taking note of the criminal investigation of a Brooklyn judge and other scandals, called on political party bosses yesterday to loosen their hold on the selection of Civil Court judges and Supreme Court justices in favor of independent panels. In a speech to the Association of the City Bar Association, Mr. Bloomberg said that political patronage had tainted the process and could lead to a "crisis of confidence" in the judiciary. (NY Times) (NY Post)

Taking aim at Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a second straight day, William C. Thompson Jr., the city comptroller, lashed out last night at the mayor's plan to establish nonpartisan city elections. He called the idea flawed and said the commission studying the matter was an unnecessary expense. (NY Times)

With outrage over the city's latest ticket blitz growing, Mayor Bloomberg insisted yesterday that cops are not being forced to meet ticket quotas - just "performance measurements." (Daily News)

The city agency in charge of overseeing school construction gets an "F" when it comes to keeping the City Council posted on the status of projects, one lawmaker charged yesterday. In a scathing letter to the School Construction Authority, Eva Moskowitz, chairwoman of the Council Education Committee, reprimanded the agency for not keeping the Council informed. A new law requires Chancellor Joel Klein - through the construction authority - to file regular reports on projects. (Daily News)

A group of City Council members has sponsored a resolution opposing the limits on personal freedoms that have followed in the wake of the terrorist attacks. (Newsday)


The Bloomberg administration is trying to come up with an alternative to cutbacks in trash pickups, budget director Mark Page told City Council yesterday. The Sanitation Department had been planning to save $11 million by eliminating one pickup a week in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and parts of the Bronx.
(Daily News) (Newsday)

City Comptroller William Thompson yesterday charged that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget favors Manhattan over the other boroughs. Testifying before City Council, Thompson cited Bloomberg’s proposals to reduce garbage pickups outside Manhattan, close the Brooklyn and Queens zoos and institute tolls on East River bridges. The Bloomberg administration countered that Thompson was being divisive.
(New York Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that city workers will have to pay some of the $1 billion in increased pension costs or face more layoffs. (Daily News)

A bill will be introduced in City Council today to require video surveillance at entrances and exits in all public school buildings in the city.(Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been ranked the 63rd wealthiest person in the world by Forbes magazine, yesterday criticized legislation before City Council that would bar him from spending his billions to promote non-partisan elections in New York City. The mayor supports a revision to the City Charter that would remove party labels in municipal elections but said yesterday he currently had no plans to finance any campaign on behalf of the measure.
(Daily News) (New York Times)

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller has proposed increasing the penalties for unruly behavior at sports events in the city to as much as a year in jail and a $25,000 fine. (New York Post)

Two city councilmen plan to prevent the mayor from using his personal fortune on an advertising campaign asking New Yorkers to abolish party labels in city elections.(NY Times)

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's handling of the aftermath of a police raid in Harlem that left an innocent 57-year-old woman dead drew effusive praise yesterday from one of the city's most prominent black leaders.(NY Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared to soften his hard-line approach toward labor yesterday, saying he would support raises for city workers in exchange for increased productivity enhancements.(Newsday)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday brushed aside calls for an independent probe into the police shooting of unarmed West African merchant Ousmane Zongo while conceding that investigators have been hampered by the lack of eyewitnesses.(Newsday)

Randi Weingarten, chairwoman of the Municipal Labor Committee says that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is unfairly accusing the unions of being inflexible in negotiations with the city. (Newsday)


Mayor Bloomberg has made communities up and down the Hudson River an offer they are refusing. The offer goes something like this: Take our garbage, please take our garbage! And we'll make your little town rich. The city now trucks about 11,000 tons of garbage each day to landfills in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Trucking and dumping that unending stream of trash costs $64 a ton, and the tab keeps rising. City officials believe it would be a whole lot cheaper if they could barge the garbage across the Hudson, then transfer it to railroad cars. A plan to build such a transfer station in Linden, N.J., stalled because of ethics and other investigations. (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg is headed for a showdown with City Council leaders who are demanding that he restore some services before they OK a higher city sales tax. Bloomberg warned that if the council doesn't act by June 1 - when a .25 percent statewide sales tax hike kicks in - the city would lose the chance to collect up to $30 million.(New York Post)

Community activists outraged over six firehouses slated to get the ax chased Mayor Bloomberg up the steps of City Hall yesterday waving petitions and shouting "Stay out of Harlem" - but were outrun by the fleet-footed mayor (New York Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg summoned top black elected officials to City Hall on Friday in an attempt to soothe racial tensions fueled by the death of Alberta Spruill in a botched police raid in Harlem. In addition, Bloomberg is to address mourners at Spruill's funeral Saturday in Harlem, and City Hall sources say he plans to be "very forceful" in declaring that police need to be more vigilant about how they conduct raids and in gathering information about potential drug targets. (Newsday)

When Mayor Bloomberg promised that all New Yorkers will share the pain of the current fiscal crisis, he meant even those closest to him. Several staffers in the mayor's office soon will receive pink slips, it was learned yesterday. ( Daily News)

The Bloomberg administration can go ahead with the planned closing of six firehouses this weekend, a State Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn ruled yesterday, although he issued "a strong recommendation" that the city hold off on one in Queens. (New York Times)

One of the bleakest budget seasons in decades gains intensity over the next two weeks -- with political flare-ups expected over garbage pickups, fire response, and the hours of senior centers and libraries."We still have ... a difficult road ahead of us," Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned Wednesday. "There just cannot be a wholesale resurrection, if you will, or revisiting, of some of the cuts." (Newsday)

New York City's interests are being hurt by the "conservative junta" in power in Washington, Council Speaker Gifford Miller charged yesterday. Miller's comments about a "junta" - which suggests an unelected military ruling clique - jarred some Republican staffers, who questioned the wisdom of stridently bashing the GOP when it calls most of the shots in Washington. (NY Post)

The City Council is weighing a delay in passing the city's sales-tax hike until Mayor Bloomberg pledges to ease some budget cuts. (NY Post)

A Brooklyn state Supreme Court judge will rule tomorrow on whether to postpone the closings of six firehouses set to begin shutting down Friday. A suit, filed by opponents of the cost-cutting move, charges that the city did not adequately inform the affected communities or perform necessary environmental reviews. (Daily News)

Shutting firehouses would result in "deadly" delays of 30 seconds or more that would affect areas of the city beyond those served by the six houses slated for closing, according to a new study by the firefighters union. (New York Post)

The mayor says the decision to spare two of the eight firehouses originally slated for closure was based on the merits -- not politics. But many observers see politics at work. (New York Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that the only way to balance the city's budget in future years will be to cut labor costs -- either through layoffs or concessions from municipal employee unions. These could include changes in the pension system or having workers assume part of their health care costs. (Daily News) (Newsday)

No mayor has controlled the city school system since Boss Tweed in 1871. In its first year, the return of mayoral control has ended feuding between the mayor and the school system but has also led to tensions over micromanagement and confusion about who makes decisions about what. (New York Times)

The corruption probe into former city housing chief Russell Harding, president of the city Housing Development Corporation in the Giuliani administration, has cost $340,000 so far, the city's investigation commissioner testified yesterday. Harding, who is scheduled to go to trial on federal fraud and child pornography charges this summer, allegedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in agency funds on personal expenses, including vacations and gifts for himself and his friends. (Daily News) (New York Times)

The Department of Investigation wants former city housing official Russell Harding to pay for the cost of its investigations into his wrongdoing. (New York Post)

After the State Legislature passed a city aid package, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said that the city would be able to save two firehouses that were scheduled to close.(NY Times)

The Queens Democratic Party took the unusual step yesterday of not endorsing an incumbent city councilman, Allan W. Jennings Jr., in the upcoming primary election. Democratic officials said they considered his behavior to be too unorthodox and unprofessional.(NY Times)

A group of City Council members yesterday sharply criticized Mayor Bloomberg's plan to cut garbage pickups in the outer boroughs - with one councilman hinting it could hold up the budget negotiations.(NY Post)

The organizers of the Million Youth March are vowing to fight the Bloomberg administration's decision, which blocks them from holding an 11-block street fair and demonstration in Brooklyn on Sept. 6. (Newsday)

Even as public services are slashed and city workers are laid off, the City Council is getting along nicely with an ample staff and some of the highest-paid employees in city government, critics say. (Newsday)

Salaries of city workers are basic public information, but getting the numbers is quite a job - even for the City Council members who pass the budget that funds the paychecks. More than half of the 83 city agencies asked for salary data under the state's Freedom of Information Law provided it late or not at all, according to a report released yesterday by Councilmen Eric Gioia (D-Queens) and David Yassky (D-Brooklyn). (Daily News)

A dozen City Council members plan to introduce legislation next week forcing companies with more than 50 employees to offer a pretax mass-transit benefit program. (NY Post)

The mayoral campaign of 2005 remains in the distance, with a full 28 months before any ballots are cast in the party primaries. There are already Democrats aplenty hoping to succeed Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, but before they tackle him, there is one among their ranks who is creating some pause: Fernando Ferrer. (NY Times)

Fighting a parking ticket would literally mean fighting City Hall under a plan proposed by Mayor Bloomberg. The mayor's executive budget calls for getting rid of two-thirds of the administrative law judges who rule on ticket disputes - and making the rest of them full-time employees of the city's Finance Department. (Daily News)

The Bloomberg administration appeared to toughen its stance toward the municipal unions yesterday, ratcheting up the harshness of its criticisms and carrying out 2,000 layoffs that the unions said should have been delayed while negotiations continued. The unions accused the city's chief labor negotiator of walking out of last-minute negotiations aimed at stopping the first major round of municipal layoffs since the Dinkins administration.(NY Times) (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg sent a dire warning to Albany legislators yesterday: Pass the city's aid package vetoed by Gov. Pataki or expect doomsday budget cuts to hit the city. (Daily News)

Undocumented immigrants contribute more to American society than they take, and ought to be made citizens, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told skeptical callers on his radio show Friday. (Newsday)

A heated exchange over smoking funds erupted during a City Hall hearing yesterday when a Staten Island councilman blasted the health commissioner for spending $2.5 million on nicotine patches. During the hearing on proposed health cuts, Councilman James S. Oddo (R-Staten Island) grilled commissioner Thomas Frieden on a recent program that gave away 35,000 free nicotine patches to New Yorkers who wanted to quit smoking. (Newsday)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg filed a lawsuit against the City Council challenging the legality of its override last month of a controversial welfare-to-work training bill that would allow people receiving public assistance greater access to school. (Newsday)

The City Council unanimously approved a bill yesterday that increases protections for nannies and housekeepers by seeking to make sure that families who hire them know these workers' rights on overtime and other matters. The bill, which passed 49 to 0, requires employment agencies to inform domestic workers in writing of their rights and to get families that hire them to sign statements outlining the employee's rights and the employer's responsibilities. (NY Times)

Negotiations between City Hall and Randi Weingarten, head of the teachers union, will resume today after weeks of feuding and name-calling. (NY Post)

The City Council yesterday approved a bill that mandates the flying of POW/MIA flags at all city parks. There are 800 locations where the U.S. flag is flown, and the POW/MIA flag will be flown beneath it. The law will be implemented over a three-yearperiod. (NY Post)

AIDS activists briefly blocked the doors of City Hall yesterday in an angry protest over looming budget cuts. ( Daily News)

A city on the road to broke shouldn't be giving free rides upstate, Mayor Bloomberg tweaked the City Council yesterday. He criticized the Council for spending $75,000 of taxpayer money to shuttle tenants to Albany to lobby for rent control. ( Daily News)

The City Council spent $75,000 of taxpayers' money to promote rent control and shuttle tenants to an Albany rally yesterday. ( Daily News) (NY Post)

The mayor went to Flatbush, Brooklyn, yesterday to hear from voters at a City Council breakfast - the closest thing to a public question-and-answer forum that Bloomberg conducts as mayor. But after a speech focused on his successes at keeping crime down and taking over city schools, Hizzoner took just four questions from the crowd before skipping out - leaving many in the room hungry for more. (Newsday) (Daily News)

A day before his promised veto of the State Legislature's budget plan, Gov. George E. Pataki unveiled a new plan for bailing out New York City that avoids raising taxes. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg scoffed at a New York Post story yesterday that claimed the smoking ban had hurt business at bars and restaurants - saying they "make up stuff." ( Daily News)

An angry Mayor Bloomberg yesterday blasted as "outrageous" and "beneath contempt" suggestions that City Hall's plan to lay off workers is somehow racist. ( Daily News)

Serious crime in the city's public schools has plummeted 8 percent this year, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday.(NY Post)

Suddenly, it seems, Mayor Michael Bloomberg faces trouble on just about all fronts. He's engaged in verbal war with labor unions as he carries out thousands of layoffs - a rough political position for anyone who says he plans to seek re-election. (Newsday)

The president of New York City's teachers' union officially withdrew her support for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's sweeping plan to improve the city's schools, skewering the mayor and Chancellor Joel I. Klein and offering a raft of alternative proposals because "they just don't get it." (NYTimes) ( Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg needs to ditch his blue blazer, roll up his sleeves and hit the neighborhoods if he wants to sell his plan for balancing the city's budget - and reverse his plunging poll numbers. That was the advice of the city's elder political statesmen last week as Bloomberg - under fire from the left and the right for raising taxes while cutting services - suffered through one of the worst weeks of his mayoralty. ( Daily News)

An organization of black public employees suggested Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision to lay off city workers was racist, prompting a furious mayoral aide to label the group as "disgusting and irresponsible race-baiters." (Newsday)

Suddenly, it seems, Mayor Michael Bloomberg faces trouble on just about all fronts. (Newsday)

He may not be at his peak in the polls, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg showed yesterday that he is still tough and capable of a joke or two. (NY Times)

The Bloomberg administration is embarking on an ambitious plan to move a large number of the last group of welfare recipients not enrolled in a work program into the work force. They include the sickest recipients, who now account for the majority of people on welfare. (NY Times)

Tax hikes? Fare hikes? Mass layoffs? Fewer garbage pickups? It's enough to make a New Yorker cry - but not in Mayor Bloomberg's world. ( Daily News)

As pink slips rolled out at the Education Department, the mayor and schools chancellor blamed the teachers union for the layoffs.( Daily News) (NY Post)

An Wall Street Journal op-ed piece co-written by Felix Rohatyn and former Gov. Hugh Carey - saviors of the city during the fiscal crisis of the 1970s and, until now, dependable supporters of Bloomberg - headlined "Save Our City." What followed was a blistering attack on the mayor's decision to emphasize sales and income tax hikes over cost-cutting as a way to dig the city out of its $3.8 billion deficit. ( Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg is seeking to block a bill that would make it easier for siblings of firefighters and cops who died in the Sept. 11 attacks to follow in the footsteps of their brave brothers and sisters. (NY Post)

Proponents of a lawsuit aimed at radically revamping state education funding to the benefit of the city showed up in Albany today after dramatizing their appeal with a 150-mile walk from New York City. In front of the courthouse today, just before arguments began, more than 100 supporters of the case greeted Councilman Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan) and other marchers as they finished their 150-mile walk. It was Jackson who launched the suit in the late 1990s, when he not yet a councilman, but a parent advocate. (Newsday)

High-priced political consultants yesterday had some free advice for Mayor Bloomberg on how to boost his dismal poll numbers: Get out and talk to everyday New Yorkers. (New York Post)

Mayor Bloomberg took on the polls yesterday by offering to dine with anyone who donates $100,000 to Staten Island University Hospital - the day after a survey showed New Yorkers weren't keen on breaking bread with Hizzoner. (New York Post)

Mayor Bloomberg will ultimately throw in the towel and decide to be a one-term mayor, former Mayor Ed Koch predicted yesterday. "I don't believe he'll run for a second term," Koch told the Daily News. "He doesn't get the same visceral pleasure that I got out of being mayor or that [Rudy] Giuliani got. You hit me, I hit you back. He, who has done a wonderful job on the merits and should be praised, probably says to himself, 'I'm doing everything on the merits and they're beating me up. This is incredible.'" ( Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday that all New Yorkers are obligated to help the cash-strapped city by donating their time, talents and money to local charities and cultural institutions. (Newsday)

New details of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's school restructuring plan, including the first organizational charts to be made public, show it cutting through every level of the bureaucracy, pointedly redirecting money and personnel into schools. (New York Times)

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's conviction that politics do not matter is being severely tested in what is, according to the latest poll, the lowest point in his mayoral career. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg doesn't expect anyone to be happy with the Rent Guidelines Board's preliminary vote to permit rent hikes of 5.5% for one-year leases and 8.5% for two-year leases - but he's not about to take sides on the explosive issue. ( Daily News)

City Councilman Robert Jackson is leading a 150-mile march from Manhattan to Albany to dramatize a city lawsuit in which he seeks more state funds for schools. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg and other city officials should now feel free to raise private money for cash-strapped city agencies - provided they abide by new rules announced yesterday by the city's Conflicts of Interest Board. ( Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg isn't backing off his plans to shake up city schools, and lawsuits don't frighten him, one of his top aides said yesterday. ( Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday defended the city's purchase of a $362,400 state-of-the-art mobile command center. (NY Post)

The Education Department will lay off 856 principals and supervisors in mid June despite a no-layoffs clause in the recently negotiated principals' contract. (New York Post) (Newsday)

The fallout from the scandal surrounding former city Housing Development Corp. chief Russell Harding continued yesterday when three longtime agency executives, including its new president, resigned under pressure. ( Daily News) (New York Post)

Some City Council members yesterday called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to impose a moratorium on any rent increases until landlords show, with solid documentation, that their expenses have outstripped profits. But a Bloomberg spokesperson said the Rent Guidelines Board, which gave preliminary approval Monday to the largest rent hikes since 1989, is an "independent" entity that the mayor does not directly control. (Newsday)

The City Council voted overwhelmingly but grudgingly yesterday for a plan that would help the city balance its budget by raising sales taxes slightly and increasing income taxes on many residents. (New York Times) (Newsday) (NY Post)

Even as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was denouncing a sales tax increase as regressive and professing the benefits of a commuter tax on Thursday, he had already moved beyond his dream of taxing people who work in the city but live in its suburbs, officials in state and city government said today. (New York Times)

Gov. Pataki stepped up his budget veto threats yesterday, warning that raising both state and city taxes will be a devastating one-two punch for Big Apple residents. (NY Post)

Council Speaker Gifford Miller says his members will approve sales and income tax hikes today, bringing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's tenuous $2.7 billion budget deal with Albany lawmakers one step closer to reality. (Newsday )

The status of health insurance benefits shouldn't be a mystery to graduating college students, City Council members said yesterday. (Newsday )

They are the crown jewels of the city's cultural life, but deep budget cuts proposed by Mayor Bloomberg may soon force many of the city's storied museums, gardens and music halls to lose much of their luster. ( Daily News)

A lawmaker who helped Mayor Bloomberg win control of city schools now plans to sue the mayor to force him to give up some of the power. Assemblyman Steven Sanders (D-Manhattan) said legal papers will be filed next week to block Bloomberg's planned reorganization of city schools. ( Daily News)

More than 30,000 summer jobs for city youth could be lost under the bare-bones budgets being considered by the city and state - a move decried yesterday by children advocates. ( Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg loves a parade but he needs the Pentagon's permission before throwing a ticker-tape tribute for soldiers returning from Iraq. (Newsday)

Legislative leaders in Albany announced yesterday that they had reached an agreement with the Bloomberg administration on a temporary income tax increase on the city's highest-income residents to help close the city's budget gap. On Friday, legislative leaders and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced an agreement that would provide the city with $2.7 billion in revenues by increasing state aid and by raising the city's sales tax and income tax. Legislative and mayoral aides then worked late into the night to calculate how large an increase was needed to meet the mayor's goal of an additional $400 million a year in income tax revenue. (NY Times) ( Daily News) (NY Post)

3,000 city workers received pink slips yesterday as part of Mayor Bloomberg's layoff plan. (NY Post) ( Daily News)

With an unexpected package of budget aid promised from Albany on Friday, city labor leaders pleaded with the city to rescind about 4,500 layoff notices that went out earlier in the day. (Newsday)

Mayor Bloomberg is lining up behind legislative leaders in Albany who are in the middle of a monumental budget war with Gov. Pataki. (NY Post)

A proposed quarter of a percent hike in the city's sales tax - a major component of the Legislature's plan to bail out New York City - could be pulled off the table, sources said last night. ( Daily News)

For the second year, the city's human resources commissioner, Verna Eggleston, will refuse to accept a federal waiver that would permit single unemployed adults to receive food stamps beyond the current limit of three months in a three-year period. (NY Times)

State lawmakers were cobbling together a package of bills yesterday to rescue New York City from its budget crisis, but not in the form Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had asked for. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg pledged yesterday to support state legislators who go to bat for the city - a day after Gov. Pataki went on the warpath against the Legislature. (NY Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his budget counterpart, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, managed to curb their enthusiasm about the prospect of hiking the city's sales tax along with the state's. (Newsday)

The city's controversial plan to build a $100 million emergency command center in downtown Brooklyn cleared a couple of big hurdles yesterday, virtually assuring its approval. Two key City Council panels voted to okay the project, and the full Council is expected to give a final thumbs-up May 14. ( Daily News)

Councilmember Eva Moskowitz (D-Manhattan) introduced a bill yesterday to impose fines of up to $500 for installing audible car alarms. Cars already equipped with such alarms would be exempted. ( Daily News)

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