CASES CEO Reflects on His Work with Ed Koch

From 1982 to 1989, CASES CEO Joel Copperman served in the final two terms of New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Mr. Copperman’s duties included serving as a City representative to the State government in Albany, in the Mayor’s Office of Operations where he worked with city agencies on behalf of the First Deputy Mayor, and as the first Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contracts, an office created after a series of scandals involving contracts held by close political associates of the Mayor. In the latter position, Mr. Copperman oversaw the establishment of new contracting procedures and the awarding of City contracts. Recently, Mr. Copperman reflected on his experiences working with Mayor Koch:

I learned great lessons about city government, public administration, and public service in my work in the Koch administration and from Mayor Koch. In those eight years, I developed a love and passion for New York City that continues to this day. I worked with people of enormous ability, commitment, and integrity. I came to understand the complexities of solving difficult public issues. I experienced the value and importance of seeing government and public administration as requiring long-term commitment and integrity in its day-to-day application on behalf of people, agencies, and organizations. The Mayor was a man of many memorable quotes. My favorite is, ‘Public service, when it’s done honorably and when it’s done well, is the noblest of professions.’

For more about Mayor Koch, visit the New York Times obituary and the transcript of Mayor Bloomberg’s comments at Mayor Koch’s funeral.

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