Friday, January 29, 2010

The Bloomberg Doomsday Budget

Is Mayor Mike Bloomberg really speaking like a fiscal conservative? proponent of smaller government? and champion of cutting bloated city agencies?

"Don't measure the quality of city services by the level of city spending," the mayor said. "In a time when economic recovery is still a future hope and not a current reality, we have to pull together."

Is Marie Antoinette Bloomberg telling the City Hall Court “let them eat cake”?

Under the doomsday budget Iron Mike Bloomberg is proposing:

• City workers wouldn't get a raise.

• Teachers would get a 2% raise, but only on the first $70,000 of their salaries.

• Lay off 834 city workers - including 299 at libraries, 186 at cultural institutions and 141 at the Health Department.

• close 20 fire companies

• The FDNY would also eliminate the fifth firefighter from 60 engine companies.

• The NYPD would lose 892 officers through attrition, and trim overtime by $25 million this year and $50 million the next - though the agency failed to meet cost reduction targets last year.

• Four city pools in the summer and shorten the season for the rest by two weeks, to save $1.4 million.

• Elementary schools with fewer than 300 students would lose their nurses, to save $3.1 million.

However, the budget proposal revealed today has been said to be the “best case scenario”. If the state fails to provide the anticipated amount of funding, the mayor and the city council may be forced to make additional cuts to services and raise taxes.

The budget will be debated for the next several months by the City Council, which has the capability to move money around and reverse some of the smaller cuts. Hopefully, someone can find some slush fund money under the rug!

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