By Julie Shapiro
BATTERY PARK CITY — If Bill Thompson were paranoid, he might think Mayor Michael Bloomberg is out to get him.
First, Bloomberg beat the former city comptroller in the race for mayor last fall.
Then, shortly after Thompson became chairman of the state-run Battery Park City Authority in March, Bloomberg started talking about grabbing that position as well. The city has the option of taking over Battery Park City for $1 and getting rid of the Battery Park City Authority entirely.
What does Bloomberg plan to take next, Thompson’s home?
Presented with that version of the events this week, Thompson laughed.
“Not at all,” Thompson said. “I don’t think that has anything to do with it. There’s not that level of animosity between us, number one. And [Bloomberg] has to pay attention to what’s in the best interests of the city. I don’t think this has anything to do with me or anything to do with Mike Bloomberg.”
Thompson thinks the state is doing just fine running Battery Park City and there’s no reason for the city to get involved.
“It’s a great community,” Thompson told DNAinfo. “I don’t know why at this point you’d want to change it.”
If the city took over Battery Park City, Bloomberg would have more direct access to 92-acre neighborhood’s hundreds of millions of dollars of annual revenue. But the city would also have to take on the neighborhood’s $1 billion debt.
No one in Bloomberg’s office has approached Thompson to discuss a takeover, Thompson said.
Thompson added that officials need to hear from neighborhood residents and business owners about what they think.
At a meeting Tuesday night, Community Board 1 members who live in BPC said they, too, are happy with the status quo.
“We are a big fish in a small pond,” said Linda Belfer, chairperson of CB1’s BPC Committee. “If the city took over, we would be a minuscule fish in a very large pond, and who knows if we would be able to get anyone’s attention.”