With the passing last week of Ed Koch there has been lots of rewrites of history going around the Big Apple. To be sure Koch was a character and did revive to some extent the city from the doldrum days of the 1970's when so much of NYC seemed to be in decline. However, to say the man was a great mayor is to ignore many of the not so good things that happened on his watch. For instance, Koch was very insensitive to the minority communities and indeed took delight in picking fights with black leaders, thus polarizing the city along racial lines. Also, he was not a particularly good fiscal manager and the city was consistently in deficit under his watch. His relationship with the city unions were horrible and he also presided over the decay of the public school system in NYC which had been one of the best of big city educational establishments until he took over. And of course, his ignoring of the AIDS plague which ravaged the city will forever be a shame. Gay activists claim he ignored AIDS because he didn't want to seem overly concerned about homosexuals since rumors swirled that he was gay. Remember the charade of going around with Bess Myerson a former Miss America to thwart rumors of his sexuality? How cynical can a man get? Today I heard that he was being buried in a cemetery in upper Manhattan because he could not bear leaving Manhattan even in death. That also says much about him since he just cared about Manhattan and ignored the other boroughs of a great city. He was an urban snob.
Of course the media loved the big mouth Mayor who relished in telling people off and acting like a clown. But in reality he was not a very good mayor. And folks should remember that he wanted a fourth term and the people said NO. He was an egomaniac and political opportunist. I for one will not miss him.