Mayor Bloomberg returned to his beloved City Hall bullpen yesterday after two weeks of working in Brooklyn while his newsroom-style office got a face-lift.
Mr. Bloomberg and 85 of his staffers unpacked their cardboard boxes and moved into new desks at their second-floor office, which during their absence got an electrical upgrade, ceiling repairs, new carpeting, a fresh coat of paint, and a new state-of-the-art, 103-inch plasma television.
The high-definition television, which was donated by Panasonic, will be used to monitor 311 call-center statistics, traffic, and breaking news. It is the same model used in the studio of "The Early Show" at CBS and the largest of its kind on the market. According to the manufacturer, it sells for $70,000.
The $627,000 face-lift also included cable upgrades, new phones and electrical panels, and an expansion to the air-conditioning duct system.
"New York's City Hall is the oldest and longest-serving City Hall in the nation, and this desperately-needed renovation has given the building new life," Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement. He said the improvements make the office "safer, more efficient, and more technologically advanced." Yesterday, the mayor mingled with Panasonic executives while photographers and news reporters came in to check out the new setup. The office looked fresher and brighter, but still had its signature Bloombergian features, including an electronic clock that counts down the days left in the administration, the costume the mayor wore when he performed a spoof of Monty Python's "Spamalot" (his title was "Spendalot") during last year's Inner Circle dinner, and the fake plywood helicopter that appeared in his 2002 performance at the same event. For the past two weeks, the mayor and his staff had set up shop at the city's emergency management office near Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. Before going to Brooklyn, the mayor said the move would not only give the city a chance to make badly needed municipal upgrades, but would allow his office to test an important backup facility that would be used if City Hall is ever evacuated.