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Mayor Says Wage Bill 'Will Not Work
Wall Street Journal
Michael Howard Saul

May 25, 2010
View the Original Article

Mayor Michael Bloomberg voiced strong opposition Monday to a City Council bill that would require developers on city-subsidized projects to pay workers at least $10 an hour, saying it would prevent businesses and their jobs from spreading into the neighborhoods that need them the most.

"It's a nice idea but it's poorly thought out and will not work," Mr. Bloomberg said at a news conference in Queens.

The legislation, to be introduced Tuesday, is part of a renewed effort by lawmakers, civic activists and labor leaders to establish citywide job and wage standards for publicly funded economic-development projects.

Mr. Bloomberg cited the recent failure to build a $310 million mall inside the Bronx's Kingsbridge Armory as an example of why the legislation would be harmful. The project collapsed after council members and others demanded the developers pay workers $10 an hour.

So, instead of having jobs at Kingsbridge that, perhaps, pay less than what would be preferable, Mr. Bloomberg said, "we have nothing—and that's exactly what this bill would do."

Council Member Oliver Koppell, a Bronx Democrat and a lead sponsor of the bill, declined to comment.