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The 411 On New York's 311 -- And Bloomberg

Newly independent New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg visited the city's 311 Customer Service Center Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the system's 50 millionth call, doing his best to avoid the story splashed on the front cover of this morning's New York tabloids (which had almost identical looks today).

The mayor touted the system's successes, and noted that since its inception in 2003, the call service has averaged 40,000 calls a day, and has dealt with questions in more than 70 languages. (Out of towners can apparently use the service too, by calling 212-NEW-YORK.)

Bloomberg later referenced "the next 925 days of this administration," promising New Yorkers that the system will continue to serve the public through the scheduled end of the Bloomberg Administration, on Jan. 1, 2010.

As he turned to the Q&A portion of the event, Bloomberg warned the assembled reporters that journalists asking a question related to 311 had a good chance of asking a follow-up question.

The second questions focused in more on the presidential issue: "How do you plan on implementing 311 on a national level?"

"There's no reason why the federal government, with a budget of trillions of dollars, shouldn't have the same mentality," as Bloomberg's administration did in implementing the system, he said. "They should make available access to services in the ways that the average person can find them," he added.

Another reporter more bravely queried, "Are you running for president?"

"I think we're trying to do things on topic, and that's where I focus is," Bloomberg answered, quickly moving on to another question about 311. Most of the other questions focused on 311, with some suggestion of national implementation.

So on the day after Bloomberg's personal Independence day, he did his best to rise above the political chatter, and focus instead on his day job. Watch the video highlights below.

VIDEO | Highlights of Bloomberg Press Conference

By Ed O'Keefe |  June 20, 2007; 2:29 PM ET Mike Bloomberg
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