HE snared the 1992 Democratic convention for the Big Apple. He has taken a leading role in urging Washington, D.C., to restore aid to the cities.
Yet New York City Mayor David Dinkins is viewed by many voters here as much more of a caretaker and conciliator than a long-range planner with a 21st-century vision for the city.
In part, it's the political nature of the job. "There isn't much political capital for a mayor to engage in long-term planning - if you can do it NOW, you get the points for it," says Ester Fuchs, a political scientist at Barnard College and author of the forthcoming book, "Mayors and Money."
Also, Mayor Dinkins has faced an unusually …