New York's mayor hints that there might be a role for him in the city's future

Thursday, September 27th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Rudolph Giuliani is not going quietly.

The mayor said Wednesday he is discussing a plan with candidates vying for his job that would ``unify the city'' and provide him some role in New York's recovery from the World Trade Center attacks.

While Giuliani was not specific about the kind of role he wants, earlier in the day he called Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver seeking the powerful Democrat's support on legislation that would extend his term.

``I want to do something that unifies the city because I love this city,'' said Giuliani, who is barred from serving a third term. His term is up on Dec. 31.

Giuliani's remarks came just a day after New Yorkers selected billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg as the GOP nominee for mayor and sent two Democrats, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and Public Advocate Mark Green, into a runoff next month.

Green was the only Democratic candidate to meet with Giuliani on Wednesday; Bloomberg refused to say whether he had met with the mayor. None of the candidates would comment on Giuliani's remarks.

The GOP mayor has been acclaimed for his leadership since the Sept. 11 attacks and has been urged by some New Yorkers to stay on to help guide the city through the crisis.

Giuliani made his strongest comments in an interview broadcast Wednesday night on CBS' ''60 Minutes II.'' He said he was open to the idea of staying past the end of his term if New Yorkers wanted him to stay.

``I don't know yet the right way or the right thing to do and I have to really consult and talk to the governor and other people that really have to have a voice and a role in figuring out how to do it,'' he said.

Various ideas have been floated about a Giuliani role. They include a three-month extension of his term, overturning term limits to allow him to seek a full third term, or some kind of undefined position in charge of recovery operations.

Citing ``several others familiar with his plan,'' The New York Times reported Thursday that Giuliani had broached with Green, and possibly with Bloomberg, the possibility of postponing the mayoral inauguration until April.

Only the state Legislature or the Democratic-led City Council can overturn term limits. While there has been support in the Republican-led state Senate, the Democratic-controlled Assembly has given it a cool reception.

``While the speaker is not a supporter of term limits, he is uncomfortable changing the rules,'' said Silver spokeswoman Eileen Larrabee.

She said Silver told Giuliani in their phone call Wednesday that he would bring it up with Assembly members. No date was set for such a discussion.

Ferrer and Green face off in a runoff Oct. 11. The general election is Nov. 6.