The migrant crisis, weak commercial real-estate market and toxic smog from Canadian wildfires make this “a frightening time” to be in the Big Apple, ex-Gov. David Paterson said Sunday.
The former governor started out his dismal stance by noting how COVID-19 wreaked havoc on US cities — and predicted things will only get worse.
“It is a really difficult time for the cities in this country because those who have a lot of office buildings like New York — and the New York Post wrote about this on Friday — less and less space is being used,” Paterson told John Catsimatidis on the “Cat’s Roundtable” on WABC-770.
“It’s causing the property values to fall. It’s causing more and more people to not come to work at the rate it would’ve been thought once the pandemic ended,” he said.
“It’s going to be a real crisis down the road,” Paterson said.
“Add to that that there are people coming into the city — but it’s the migrant population.
“This week, with the smog alert and the [air quality] index almost up to 500, which would be the highest recorded in the world, it’s a frightening time to be around this area,” he added.
The former governor did give New York City Mayor Eric Adams high marks for trying to manage the influx of migrants into the five boroughs — while chastising upstate county leaders for not doing enough to help.
Several suburban and upstate pols have gone to court to try to block migrants from local motels and hotels.
“No matter how you feel about the border, if people actually do get in, I don’t think they should be sent just to centers that are decided somewhere in Washington, not collectively by the counties of the state and the states themselves,” he said. “That’s just exacerbating the situation.
“The county executives, they had fun cheering on [Texas] Gov. [Greg] Abbott when he sent the buses of migrants to Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. But then all of a sudden, when someone wanted to send it to their area, they had some reason why they don’t want to do that,” he said.
“I just think that’s very unhelpful.”
Paterson gave Adams credit for his handling of the crisis, including Hizzoner’s recent offer to shelter some of the migrants at Gracie Mansion.
“It demonstrates that he continues to be the one person in government who is trying new ideas, bringing up possibilities — not all of them necessarily would work — but it demonstrates the effort that he’s putting in, and he should certainly be commended for it,” Paterson said of Adams.
But despite the gloomy forecast, the governor said he remains optimistic that the Big Apple will eventually bounce back.
“At this particular time, things can look very bleak,” he said. “New York has always been a resilient city that’s always kind of bounced back.
“It certainly looked pretty bad during the fiscal crisis in 1975, but we bounced back from that. And it certainly looked horrible after the terrible attack on our country on Sept. 11, 2001, and we fought back from that,” Paterson said.
“So I hope in the midst of all of this, even though we’re raising some difficult issues, that we still have that resilience, that desire and that drive to bring the city back as one of the great cities, if not the greatest city, in this country.”