When TimesLedger Publisher Steve Blank and Managing Editor Roz Liston first discussed with me what became "The Public Ought to Know" just over two years ago, we agreed to suspend this weekly commentary if I became involved in the race for City Hall.Early in the morning on Mother's Day I received an e-mail about essentially joining the campaign of Fernando Ferrer in whose Bronx administration I served 23 months. Interestingly, for those who value coincidences and/or numerology, this column also ran for 23 months. My favorite number remains 18.After family left and we cleaned up, I called back and agreed to meet the following afternoon. I received an offer which I needed to discuss with the family and my partners in my various consulting projects. After a meeting at the end of the following week, I accepted. I spoke to Steve and Roz about a concluding column. I thank them for this opportunity and the bigger opportunity to share my insights and recommendation on issues that affect our quality of life and more. I also thank my copy editors, first Heather Scroope and for the last several months, Rashmi Vaish.Readers may also have learned a few things besides some issues that matter to me. I am proud of my family and friends, my involvements and my music - that includes not being shy about pressing for the induction of Poco into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.As to what matter most, I probably wrote more on the Far West Side stadium and the better site that remains available in Willets Point than any other. Ordinarily, one, maybe two commentaries should be enough, but when elected officials and their top deputies stay their misguided course, an independent voice not beholden to a cable company might help embolden others to speak for reason.Since my first days in city government, I delved into budget and fiscal issues. Many commentaries here reflected that interest, including the need for the public to weigh in. Don't forget to keep playing "Annoy!"Right through this week, I continued to review real property values and taxes of properties sold each week. I look for the discrepancies that unfortunately still exist in a confused and inequitable New York City real property tax assessment system. It needs a fix. I proposed sound reforms.In
©2005 Community News Group
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