In one quick stroke, New York City Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman, citing concerns about the use of fiscal gimmicks, last week wiped from the city's fiscal pallet an $80 million bonding plan to finance the painting of its bridges.

Although the 872 bridges managed by the city's department of transportation are in need of repair and a good paint job, Ms. Holtzman's office said using bond funds to paint bridges hearkens back to fiscal gimmicks that were partially responsible for driving the city into its fiscal crisis in the mid-1970s.

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