It's significant because never before has the city elected such an important person who's lesbian or gay to such a powerful position.

If their message resonated with the public, that could be turned into support from their colleagues.

We feel that the interests of New Yorkers are always better served when there are well-spaced and well-informed debates.

It just does not fit into what else he has done. He has presented himself as a good-government person - and he does have a record of reform - which is why people are at a loss as to why he would spend significant sums of public money on promoting himself.

New Yorkers now vote for vision, ideas, and skills that bring the city together, and for leaders who appeal to our common public interest instead of the special interests. That's the appeal of Bloomberg; people believe he isn't a typical politician, and that his only priority is a well-run city.

The fact that these folks are returning to government to serve in positions of great responsibility does raise some ethical questions about the appropriateness of these bonuses.

The Council is being strengthened as an institution, and the citizens of the city will be better served as a result.

The fact that he's giving bonuses is not surprising. But the scale is quite amazing.