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Excerpt From Mayor Bloomberg's 2008 State of the City Address

// Published January 17, 2008 in The York Times
Modernizing City government also requires a comprehensive look at its structure and operations, something that hasn't happened since Mayor Koch appointed a Charter Revision Commission 20 years ago. Since then, a lot has changed, and we've come to see redundancies, antiquated regulations, and areas for cost-savings. It's time to apply those lessons in order to make government more open, accountable, and efficient – not just this year, but permanently. Today, I am pleased to announce that we will appoint a new Charter Revision Commission that will conduct a top-to-bottom review of City government over the next 18 months. We'll consider any proposal that will improve the life of New York and New Yorkers.

Unfortunately, a Charter Revision Commission can't affect an area that desperately needs modernization: The Board of Elections, perhaps the only agency that still has the party bosses directly calling the shots. But this year, we will work with Citizens Union to build a nonpartisan coalition that unites the left and the right around a very basic idea: Hiring should be based on merit, not party ties. 2008 is the 130th anniversary of the death of Boss Tweed. Let's also make it the year we finally put to rest his style of politics.

All of our work to make government more accountable stems from a simple principle: Serving our citizens is our most basic responsibility. That goes for every citizen at every income level. In 2008, we will use technology to continue breaking down barriers to City services. For too long, individual agencies have looked at their clients in isolation – even though many New Yorkers interact with City government on a whole spectrum of issues.