Even as he warns that the city may have to lay off thousands of workers, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has found city jobs for 15 members of his re-election campaign, many of whom are earning six-figure salaries, records and interviews show.
The hirings suggest that while Mr. Bloomberg is calling for a leaner government that reflects the economic downturn, he is finding money in the budget for those who engineered his unexpectedly close re-election.
In addition, seven city employees who left their jobs to work on the campaign have returned, in many cases at higher salaries. Together, the appointments cost taxpayers more than $2 million in government wages.
Since Election Day, the mayor has appointed Matthew Mahoney, a Republican political operative, to a $160,000-a-year job at the Department of Environmental Protection; Larry Scott Blackmon, a Democratic strategist, to a $157,000-a-year post at the parks department; and Kim Molstre, the campaign’s chief of staff, to a $135,000 job working for a deputy mayor.
Budget watchdogs and union leaders said the appointments showed a disconnect between the mayor’s message of austerity to city workers — and the constituents who rely on their services — and his actions as chief executive.
“If we are tightening up our belts all over, we should be tightening up the belt at City Hall,” said Harry Nespoli, the head of the city’s sanitation union and the president of the Municipal Labor Committee.
Asked about the timing of the hirings, Mr. Bloomberg said it was important to recruit skilled managers for a challenging third term: “If there’s any group that I wouldn’t want to cut in tough times, it’s those that can guide people and incent people and excite people to do more with less.”
Teachers are a dime a dozen, but campaign staffers who will stick around in case the Mayor of Money decides to challenge Barack Obama in 2012 - those guys are priceless!
What a hypocrite - a lousy arrogant criminal hypocrite.