What do you know?
Some city council members are urging action positive for New York: abolish the office of the Attorney General.
As reported by The Post, two Democratic councilors – Kalman Yeger (B’klyn) and Robert Holden (Queens) – plan to introduce legislation to abolish the office.
That would save not only the $5 million that is spent each year to fund the agency (including its 63 employees), but also the tens of millionss are issued for elections, including corresponding public matching funds.
Since the post is little more than a stepping stone for wannabes to run for higher office, New Yorkers wouldn’t miss him one bit if he were gone.
As Holden notes, money wasted on the post now held by Jumaane Williams could go to “more important services” like the police and fire departments.
“We need to tighten our belts as a city — especially with this refugee crisis — so that this office is the first to get fired,” says Holden.
It “doesn’t do anything anyway, and there’s never anyone to pick up the phone when you call because Jumaane has so many [staffers] work remotely.”
We have long called for the abolition of the post, created after the abolition of the post of Council President in 1993, which has virtually no powers other than to act as first person in the event that the mayor is incapacitated or the post is vacant.
Technically, the PA is the ombudsman for the public and oversees city authorities.
Still, New Yorkers have numerous watchdogs and advocates standing up for them — borough councils and leaders, the city and state auditors, state legislatures, the courts. . .
Most public advocates have done little for voters anyway, instead spending their time campaigning for higher office: Mark Green ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2001; Bill de Blasio won in 2013.
Letitia James became attorney general, and Williams also ran for governor last year but retained his position as public counsel.
This is not the first time responsible politicians have attempted to abolish these antiquated sinecures.
Yeger has pioneered similar efforts before, and indeed the idea of the office itself met with resistance from the start.
Of course, even if he and Holden were successful, they would still need voter approval in a referendum.
But voters deserve a chance to reconsider whether the office is needed — and the millions in funding is justified.