Saturday, December 22, 2007


(Photo of Amanda Burden with Charlie Rose)

The Burden of Urban Planning

We'll stop calling Amanda Burden a socialite when she stops using her taxpayer-funded car and driver to transport her bag to the city's planning department!
Amanda Burden is Mayor Bloomberg's new city planning commissioner. Burden comes to her important municipal post with impressive credentials and experience. In a recent "Public Lives" profile in the New York Times, this child of wealth who married well, expressed her frustration with people who dismiss her as a socialite. Burden wants to be taken seriously.

We like Commissioner Burden and sympathize with her problem, but we are compelled to share with our readers a story about the Bloomberg administration's new planning czarina.
A friend of ours on the Upper East Side told us that Burden is impressed with the symbolism of Mayor Bloomberg's decision to ride the subway downtown to work. She's also chosen to ride the rails to the city planning office. So when her taxpayer-funded car and driver swing by her home to pick her up in the morning, she refuses the ride. She takes the subway, but she does allow her driver to shuttle her bag to her office.

When Burden figures out that the plain people who take the subway to work every day usually bring their belongings with them - and don't hand them off to their chauffeurs for a comfy private ride - we'll stop calling her a socialite. The new commissioner should be conscious of the fact that in her new office there are many eyes watching her every move. The special treatment afforded to her high-end accessories has not gone unnoticed. (
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