Soliciting birthday wishes for "Mr. Comptroller"
First it was stand for “Mr. Comptroller,” now it’s pay homage to his birthday?
Staffers of city Comptroller John Liu were sent a memo last Friday informing them that it was his birthday, and all those “inclined” should stop by a conference room during a designated half hour period.
“I know that each of you will join me in extending to him our very best wishes as he celebrates this occasion,” stated the memo obtained by amNewYork.
First Deputy Comptroller Eric Eve, who appears to have drafted the memo, was also reportedly behind new policies to have staffers rise when Lui enters the room and to call him “Mr. Comptroller.”
Mayor Bloomberg made light of the formal address Monday, saying he is typically called “Mike.”
Some political analysts said it was unusual for an office to celebrate an elected official’s birthday in such a structured way. “There seems to be a stiff formality about all of this,” said Doug Muzzio, a political analyst at Baruch College.
Bloomberg does nothing at the office for his birthday, other than occasionally sharing a cake sent to him by a friend. Former city comptroller Bill Thompson brushed off his birthday, a previous staffer said.
“There was never any requirement to wish him a happy birthday. It’s just plain silly,” the former staffer said.
Sharon Lee, a Liu spokeswoman, said attending the celebration was informal and not mandatory.
“It was in the spirit of the comptroller making himself open and accessible,” she said.Jason Fink contributed to this story.