Page at the Council
March 4th, 2010
This year’s preliminary budget might be the most preliminary proposal in recent memory, at least according to Councilmember Lewis Fidler and OMB Budget Director Mark Page, Gotham Gazette’s Courtney Gross reports from City Hall.
“We’re in a significant odd position right now in terms of the state,” Page said at the first of many preliminary budget hearings at City Hall this morning. According to Page, the city is seeing a $1.3 billion cut from the state, and until the state budget is approved, city officials won’t know how much they will have to cut back.
Given the mayhem in Albany, the timeframe for that budget approval is even hazier than usual. Officials at City Hall today did not sound confident that the state budget could be approved by the April 1 deadline. The city must pass its budget by July 1.
Until the state budget moves forward, council members appear to be making the proposed closure of 20 fire houses, the shutting of day care centers run by the Administration for Children’s Service and the reduction of children’s services case workers their top priorities.
As usual, the hearing this morning, which is heading into its third hour now, was contentious at times, particularly when the subject of day care centers was broached.
The city faces an estimated $2.6 billion budget deficit. The hearing was the first step in the negotiating process between the administration and the council on how to close that hole.By Gail Robinson on March 4, 2010, 12:48 pm
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