mayor david n. dinkins

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Nov. 12, 1993: A star to be placed atop the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center sat, on the printed page, alongside an article about Staten Islanders contemplating secession from New York City. Rather than rallying around the five-pointed symbol, New York voters were divided about their mayor — among other things — and thinking about shedding one of the five boroughs. “Had Staten Island not been part of New York City,” reported The Times, “Mayor Dinkins would have been re-elected on Nov. 2.” (Mayor David N. Dinkins lost to Rudolph W. Giuliani, thanks largely to the votes from Staten Island.) During the campaign, when one of Mayor Dinkins’s aides noted that Staten Island was swallowing more than $199 million more in services than it delivered in revenues, the idea of secession didn’t seem so bad. In the end, “It was the Mayor’s sentiment,” a deputy was quoted as saying, “that to save the city as the city, with all its symbolism and intangibles, we should find some other way to save the money.” Photo: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

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Aug. 7, 1994: The Times reported on an expansion of hiring at the New York Police Department, which, although achieving the goal of bringing the force to more than 31,000 officers, had deviated from a community-based policing approach. Although Mayor David N. Dinkins had promised four years earlier that “the beat cop is back,” it was observed that “Officers are not being stationed on every subway train every night, as officials had pledged. Some beat officers are being dispersed over larger areas than they originally patrolled. … And many who were hired are not being used on specific beats.“ Photo: Monica Almeida/The New York Times