I’ve blogged before about NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s mandated improvements to the dietary habits of the city’s residents, but his influence has reached far beyond banning trans fats and gallon containers of soft drinks. After 12 years, Bloomberg will leave office at midnight December 31st with The New York Times reporting that his stint has mayor has cost $US650 million ($AUD730 million) of his own money. From the tropical fish tanks he installed in city hall, across staff meals, charitable gifts, campaign funds, private plan travel through cultural philanthropy and much more, the man can only be compared to a modern-day Medici.
Eschewing the normal mayoral salary of $US2.7million, accepting just $US1.00/year, then pouring funds from a seemingly bottomless well into all manner of causes, could be reasons for his three terms in office. But extraordinary philanthropy aside, it’s worth looking to Bloomberg’s other legacies, crime reduction, sidewalk safety, skyline-altering construction, gun-reform, immigration control and volunteerism, because it’s unlikely that New York or any other metropolis will see the likes of Michael Bloomberg again.
Maybe not, but then we do live in extraordinary times, so who knows?