Budget Watch Continues (UPDATE)
June 26th, 2008
So Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s schedule this morning is centered on the city’s new aqua-exhibit, sending him zipping around the a.m. broadcasts.
But maybe he might be able to squeeze in a budget announcement later this afternoon following a courtesy visit with Nobel Laureate Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Others are less optimistic.
Councilmember John Liu, who is outside of City Hall today tending to other obligations, said he doesn’t think there will be an agreement before the weekend. Liu said the city would likely reach an agreement on Monday to fulfill its legal requirements (the budget deadline is June 30 at midnight).
What’s at stake? Liu says everything is on the table, from libraries to parks, except education cuts. Those, he said, are nonnegotiable for the City Council.
These negotiations, he added, have been particularly tough this year.
“I would rather have three root canals,” said Liu. “It’s a torturous process that has too much rhetoric… It’s not enough money to take care of everyoneís wish lists or to even maintain the wish lists from last year.”
UPDATE: Members of the budget negotiating team are about to go behind closed doors to mull over the city’s finances some more.
While, I imagine, some may be getting gradually impatient, others don’t mind taking the time to make sure everything is done right. Before going into the meeting, Councilmember Gale Brewer said she likes the slow process, so every program and program cut can be checked and double-checked.
“I’m not interested in just cutting, and I care about the people,” said Brewer. “To me, it’s not the rush.”
Brewer said, right now, cuts will not be made to classrooms, but reductions to both libraries and the New York City Housing Authority are still up in the air.By Courtney Gross on June 26, 2008, 2:10 pm
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