New York City's mayor has to pay a $9 registration fee when filing his oath of office form, a bureaucratic procedure the city's other elected officials also have to complete, a fact highlighted by the Wall Street Journal, which also notes that in 2001 the fee was only 15 cents, the amount it had been for a century. The Journal reports:
From a legal standpoint, the signing of the form, the payment of the $9 fee and the signature in the official register are the only requirements for Mr. [Bill] de Blasio to assume the powers of the mayor at 12 a.m. Wednesday.
For ceremonial purposes, Mr. de Blasio plans to recite the oath of office at two different points on Wednesday. The first is scheduled to take place at Mr. de Blasio's home in Park Slope at 12:01 a.m., with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman officiating. That event is considered private for family and other special invitees, but will be streamed live on the web at nyc.gov.
A private event streamed live for the world to see is an apt encapsulation of the way de Blasio has been able to capitalize politically on his private life. When de Blasio's adult daughter announced last week she had a substance abuse problem, in a video produced by the de Blasio campaign, Chris Smith explained in New York:
Yet packaging and releasing the news after De Blasio has been safely elected, on Christmas Eve, when many civilians and much of the media is otherwise occupied, muffles the immediate headlines — though it will stoke questions about how De Blasio can make his family such a prominent part of his political life and demand privacy at the same time… When I asked De Blasio, not along ago, about whether it was dangerous to turn his wife and kids into media figures, he answered serenely but emphatically. "You have to understand, our family is different in the way we think about things," he said, describing how his politics and his family were so intertwined as to be inseparable. "This is who we are, this is how we live, this is how we'll always live."
The "public" inaugural ceremony to be held at noon tomorrow at City Hall, meanwhile, will have Bill Clinton swearing in de Blasio in an event the mayor-elect promised would be "for all New Yorkers." The Journal doesn't specify whether that ceremony is taxpayer-funded, though it's safe to assume that at the very least the security-related expenditures will be, and that the $9 fee won't come close to covering them.