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Bloomberg's Aides Think Of New And Controversial Ways To Keep His SUV Cool

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's a stunt that could easily have been labeled a "stupid people trick" on late-night television.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's staff actually tried to install a regular "in-the-wall" air conditioner in the window of his official city SUV to keep him cool on hot days, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported.

1010 WINS' Stan Brooks reports


You'd think the mayor would be used to being on the hot seat by now, but apparently no hot seats for him. A tabloid newspaper found a novel city attempt to cool off the billionaire -- by installing a portable air conditioner in the widow of his car.

"That's real stupid if you ask me," one man told 1010 WINS' Stan Brooks. "I think that's a bit excessive."

"I've seen stranger things...this is New York," another man said. "You're always going to see something strange."

The mayor had no public schedule on Wednesday, so CBS 2's Kramer tried to get answers from his driver, but all she got was a "no comment" and a door slam.

It wasn't exactly the first time Kramer had a door slammed in her face, so she persisted.

Kramer: "Can you tell me whose idea it was?"

Driver: "No, sorry."

The mayor's driver certainly wasn't going to get out the weird wall air conditioner while Kramer was there, so the driver opened all the windows instead.

"You're not allowed to videotape the inside of the mayor's car," the driver said. "I'd rather not have you videotape the mayor's car thank you."

Kramer: "You're leaving the windows down now because?"

Driver: "Trying to cool off the car."

Efforts to get answers from the mayor's staff were just as fruitless.

Security officials told Kramer where the air conditioner was being stored, but red-faced city officials apparently didn't want anybody to get a picture of it so they moved it.

So where is the air conditioner? They said they couldn't tell Kramer. When will it be used again? Well, it wasn't hot Wednesday, so the next time is anybody's guess.

Residents seemed amused, but also a little annoyed by the stunt.

"I'm sure our taxpayer money could go for something better than making it convenient for him to feel cool," said Jerard Williams of Jamaica, Queens.

"I think the mayor should just relax and go into his hot van and start up the engine. That's what we all do," added Gary Cutler of the Upper West Side.

"That's a little exorbitant I think," said Danielle Plaff of Yonkers.

A Bloomberg spokesman said the air conditioner was a test. It's unclear whether it will be brought out during the next heat wave.

Energy experts estimated the cost to the taxpayers of running the air conditioner for a month at $58.

What do you think of the idea? Have any others for the mayor? Let us know below...

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