Liu Visits Gazette
City Comptroller John C. Liu discussed his future plans during a roundtable conversation at the offices of the Queens Gazette. Raised in Flushing, Liu discussed many issues and strongly feels that many improvements need to be made to Queens and the city as a whole. “We need a lot of changes,” Liu said.
Although he has made no formal commitment yet, Liu said he would make an announcement “in a matter of weeks” concerning his run for mayor.
Now entering his fourth year as city comptroller, Liu said that he has seen many areas in the city’s financial and social structure that need attention. During the January 25 meeting, Liu pledged increased involvement with the small business sector, which he feels has been getting the short end of the stick under the current administration. Traffic and accessibility, Liu feels, play a major role in how businesses attract customers. In Times Square, for example, Liu pointed out that the closure of traffic through the square might have improved major corporate businesses but hurt smaller “mom and pop” operations located on the side streets, just off the square. He criticized the current administration by saying that “these plans aren’t solutions, they are shifting the burden from the big business owner to the little one”.
Liu also stated that he believes a fresh start is needed in city government. “The mayor extended his term limit and a lot of the same people are still in power,” he said. “I believe in bringing in new blood and fresh energy.” The search for new talent in city government has been a Liu priority. He assembled a special transition team when he took office that found the most qualified persons to fill the jobs needed in the comptroller’s office. He feels the process should be devoid of political cronyism.
During his term as city comptroller, Liu said he has helped the city recover $2 billion through his aggressive auditing program.
Liu also stressed the value of integrity. He has pledged not to accept contributions from anyone doing business or hoping to do business with his office.