The news that first responders would not be invited to the September 11 memorial ceremony at Ground Zero in New York City has caused a firestorm of criticism toward Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Explaining the snub as a space problem, according to a CNN report, a Bloomberg spokesman says they are "working on ways to recognize and honor first responders and other groups, at different places and times."
For the most part, Mayor Bloomberg has enjoyed a very effective run as the leader of NYC. Now in the middle of his third term (the City Council voted in 2008 to extend the term limit to three), Bloomberg annoyed some by banning smoking in most bars, ordering restaurants to post calories by menu items and setting up "car free" zones in some areas of the city—at one time suggesting a "congestion tax" for high-traffic areas.
Yet given the emotional topic of 9/11, this announcement has struck a nerve, particularly with police and fire groups, and respondents themselves, many of whom have contracted serious illnesses since pitching in after the 9/11 attacks. In addition, the Ground Zero edict comes at a time when Bloomberg's job approval rating is at its lowest point in six years, says The New York Times. While Bloomberg has little to lose now as his mayorship comes to an end, could this be the kind of decision that comes back to haunt him if he decides to run for president in 2012? Should Bloomberg and his PR team be brainstorming to come up with a compromise for the 9/11 ceremony?