On June 14, 2002, with the New York City Public Schools foundering, the Governor signed legislation granting Mayor Bloomberg the right to appoint a majority of the Board of Education, with power of removal. The Chancellor was designated Board Chair as well as the superintendent and chief executive officer, to “serve at the pleasure of and be employed by the Mayor of the City of New York.”
How Washington and Bloomberg used their broad powers is a study in contrasting leadership styles.
Leadership in the 21st century may have different demands than in 18th, but it is hard to believe that Bloomberg’s challenges are any more daunting than Washington’s quest for national survival. Yet even in the urgency of war and knowing the high stakes of broken confidences, Washington pursued a politics of openness and consensus.
Let us also remember: Washington famously refused to run for a third term, even though he was encouraged to do so, believing "that no president should serve more than two terms lest he be looked upon as a king." In contrast, Bloomberg showed no such reluctance -- collaborating with the Council to revoke term limits unilaterally, even though NYers had voted twice against this.