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Call the mayor of New York at home


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Got a crack out of this. :lol



Who Has Bloomberg's Number? Anybody With a Phone Book




Published: July 13, 2005


Forget 311.


There is another number you can call the next time the garbage goes uncollected, the neighbors are too noisy or a pothole swallows your car. It is listed in the white pages under "Bloomberg, Michael R."


Call Mr. Bloomberg's home, and chances are, the mayor himself will answer.


That is what an agitated New Yorker did late Monday evening, only to have Mayor Bloomberg himself pick up the bedside phone in his Upper East Sidetown house. As the mayor recounted it yesterday, the caller had "a housing problem" and needed help.


"The young lady went on about how her mother had lived there, and the mother is deceased, and now she wanted to have the house," Mr. Bloomberg said, adding, "I couldn't quite figure out what the woman's problem was, but I said, 'Call me in the morning; here's the number.' "


Little did most city residents realize, the home telephone number of their billionaire mayor is right there in the phone book. Several times in recent years, and again at a news conference in Queens yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg has entertained audiences with anecdotes about people who have looked him up in the white pages and called at odd hours for assistance.


Sure enough, a quick flip through the Manhattan white pages yields Mr. Bloomberg's number. When this reporter called it yesterday afternoon, a woman answered, "Bloomberg residence."


Reporter: Hi. Is the mayor there?


Woman: No, he's not available right now.


Reporter: Where is he?


Woman: He's at his office.


For Mr. Bloomberg, whose immense wealth and status have left him open to accusations that he is out of touch with average New Yorkers, doing things like maintaining a listed phone number and taking the subway to City Hall most mornings provides a patina of common-man appeal. And he does not hesitate to draw attention to them.


As far back as February 2002, less than two months after taking office, he related to reporters a story of how someone wanting to speak to the mayor called him at home after midnight, raising the question, perhaps for the first time, of how the person got his phone number. In December of that year, he told an audience yet another story of a caller to his home, prompting The Village Voice to publish Mr. Bloomberg's number.


Edward Skyler, the mayor's communications director, said yesterday that there was nothing unusual about Mr. Bloomberg's keeping a public number and answering his own phone.


"If the mayor is at home and his phone rings, like anyone else, he picks it up," Mr. Skyler said. "He may ask someone to leave a message on his work voice mail, and the next day he will ask the right person to follow up on it. Sometimes people call to tell him he's doing a good job; sometimes they call because they want to get a pothole fixed."


The woman who called Mr. Bloomberg as he was about to turn out the light on Monday was seeking help for her elderly aunt, who was at risk of being evicted from a housing authority apartment. Mr. Skyler said the mayor asked the authority to try to accommodate the woman's request.


To be sure, Mr. Bloomberg said he would prefer that people continued using 311, 911 or the city's Web site, www.nyc.gov, to seek help with their problems - although he stopped short of asking people never to call him at home.


"But look," he said, "I'd appreciate it if you don't call me late at night."



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