- The Washington Times - Friday, August 7, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio broke with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on trying to lure wealthy New Yorkers back to the city, saying he’s confident that “fair-weather” residents will be replaced by others.

“There’s been an uptick in crime, but it is a problem directly related to the coronavirus,” Mr. de Blasio said at a press briefing Thursday. “I think you’ll see a certain number of people who leave and after an appropriate time, after there’s a vaccine, will come back. I think you’ll see some people who maybe decide they want a different kind of lifestyle. I think a lot of those people will be replaced by other people coming in.

“For decades now, as people have left New York City they’ve been replaced, and then some, by more and more people coming in. So, I think that pattern will start again over the next couple of years,” he said.

The mayor’s comments came after the governor revealed he was personally pleading with rich New Yorkers to return to their homes in Manhattan.

“I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house, or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I say, ‘You got to come back! When you coming back? We’ll go to dinner! I’ll buy you a drink! Come over, I’ll cook!’” Mr. Cuomo said.

Mr. de Blasio and Democratic state lawmakers want to raise taxes on the wealthy to help offset the state’s $30 billion coronavirus-related deficit, but Mr. Cuomo claimed that could cause the wealthy residents who fled to never return.

Mr. de Blasio said he isn’t interested in making “decisions based on the wealthy few.”

“I was troubled to hear this concept that because wealthy people have a set of concerns about the city that we should accommodate them, that we should build our policies and approaches around them,” he said. “That’s not how it works around here anymore. This city is for New Yorkers. This city is for people who live here, work here, fight to make this place better, fight through this crisis. So, there’s a lot of New Yorkers who are wealthy, who are true believers in New York City and will stand and fight with us. And there are some who may be fair-weather friends, but they will be replaced by others. But we must build our policies around working people.”

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