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Students at Closing Schools
January 27th, 2011

As the battle over the latest round of proposed school closings heats up, the Independent Budget Office has released a report that basically bolsters the contention by many critics of the closures that schools slated for shutting have a disproportionate share of the school systems’ neediest students.

For example the report found that special education students accounted for 18 percent of enrollment at the 14 high schools on this year’s closing list high schools, compared to 12 percent at all city high schools. They also had more than twice as many students entering overage — 9 percent of the student body as opposed to 4 percent for city high schools overall — and more coming in with low eighth grade test scores.

More of the students in the closing schools live in temporary housing — in other words, are homeless or doubling up with other family. At four schools on the closing list, more than 10 percent of all students fall into this group, compared to 4 percent for city students overall.
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By on January 27, 2011, 1:36 pm
In category: Education | 1 Comment »

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Snow Update from Bloomberg
January 27th, 2011

Mayor Michael Bloomberg updated New Yorkers on the progress of snow removal status this morning at City Hall. His remarks, verbatim, are below:

Good morning. Let me bring you up to date on the storm that hit our city last night and this morning. The Police Commissioner is here. He has to go to another meeting, so unless anybody has any real questions for him I dont think you do when he walks out it isnt that he doesnt care, its just that Ive told him do the other meeting.

When the snow stopped falling at about 4:00 AM, the official reading in Central Park was 19 inches. This is roughly twice the amount of snow that yesterdays evening National Weather Service forecast told us to expect. And we have now had the snowiest January in New York City history. We have had 36 inches since January 1st, breaking a record last set in 1925.

The heavy overnight snowfall which amounted to a foot or more of new snow by the early morning hours is why we decided to close schools today. Emergency agencies, like police, fire, and the public hospitals, have remained open. And as I said over the course of a dozen or so interviews with TV and radio stations this morning, as transportation options get better, City employees should come in to work.

The weather emergency that we declared yesterday afternoon remains in effect. Street cleaning and meter regulations will be suspended today and tomorrow. Clearing the streets remains our number one job and to do that, motorists should please, please refrain from driving.
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By on January 27, 2011, 11:42 am
In category: City Hall,Electoral Politics,Environment,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance,Transportation | 3 Comments »

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UFT President on School Closings
January 26th, 2011

Declaring that the arrival of a new chancellor marks a good time to take stock of the school system, teachers union president Michael Mulgrew today criticized the city’s Department of Education for not focusing on teaching, for neglecting the most at-risk students and letting hubris and ideology guide too many decisions.

Much of his address at the Center for New York City Affairs focused on a favorite United Federation of Teachers theme under Mulgrew: the department’s closing of schools it deems unsuccessful. And the speech comes during school closing season, with the Panel for Educational Policy set to rubber stamp proposed school closings next week.
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By on January 26, 2011, 2:52 pm
In category: Education,Gotham City | 2 Comments »

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Nadelstern Retires
January 21st, 2011

Schools Chancellor Cathleen Black has announced the retirement of Eric Nadelstern, the deputy chancellor of the Division of School Support and Instruction. Nadelstern, who began is career as a teacher in 1972, was one of the few long-time professional educators in a department where many people have little to no education experience. He was occasionally mentioned as someone who could have/should have been chancellor. Instead, of course, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Cathleen Black, who has not education experience at all, let along Nadelstern’s years of service.

In the wake of his departure, Black’s statement said she would merge the Division of Performance and Accountability with the Division of Academics, Performance and Support and have them both report to Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky, the education deputy Black the state education commissioner demanded Black appoint so she could get her job. Some think Nadelstern should have had that job too.

By on January 21, 2011, 2:58 pm
In category: Education,Gotham City | Comments Off on Nadelstern Retires

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A Tale of Two Schools
January 20th, 2011

Last night’s decision by the rubber stamp Panel on Educational Policy to place a second Millennium High School in the John Jay High School building in Park Slope represents the latest twist in the story of one of the city’s most troubled settings.

Once described by Inside Schools as “a long-troubled, large neighborhood school that became a school of last resort for students from all over Brooklyn,” it was even dubbed “Thug School.”

Tension between the school’s largely black and Latino students and the surrounding affluent white community have been palpable going back at least to the 1990s. Park Slopers tended to blame crime on John Jay students, often with little or no evidence (and even though there were some miscreants among the Park Slope kids at nearby M.S. 51 and many good kids at John Jay). Police standing outside the school would move the John Jay kids along as though to get them back to their own neighborhoods. Metal detectors reinforced the image, as did the dingy, deteriorating facilities.

Around 2002, the city, prompted by some parents at prestigious P.S. 321 down the street, placed three smaller schools in the building and began phasing out John Jay. Many Park Slope parents envisioned the new schools — Secondary School for Law, Secondary School for Research and Secondary School for Journalism — as places they would send their children.

It did not work out that way. Few parents from the Slope sent their kids to the schools, which remain around 90 percent black and Latino. The stigmatization of John Jay kids continued, even tough crime reportedly is down (see this recent post from Gothamist as evidence.)
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By on January 20, 2011, 3:30 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Education | 7 Comments »

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Provoking The Post
January 19th, 2011

What did Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Group get for pointing out that the Committee to Save New York should register as a lobbying entity with the Commission for Public Integrity? A slap in the face from the New York Post in the form of an editorial titled “Cynical ‘Moralists.'”

Horner was quoted in a New York Times story about the Committee to Save New York, a lobbying entity formed at the urging of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying that, It appears that they are coordinating with the governor and they are doing this to help the governor and maybe even at the request of the governor. We dont know everyone whos involved in this. But the ones who have crowed the loudest about it have critically important public policy issues in play this year.” Horner later released a statement saying that the group should register as a lobbying entity.

The Post responded with its article slamming NYPIRG because it does not reveal all of its donors. Horner says his organization’s major donors are a matter of public record but it does not reveal the names of the thousands of people who contribute small donations. The Committee to Save New York won’t have to reveal its donors when it registers to be a lobbyist.

“Pummeling taxpayers is the state sport in New York, but when taxpayers — and especially the wealth-producing private sector — fight back, the special interests develop the vapors,” begins the unsigned Post editorial. “The Committee to Save New York, a group that’s expected to spend heavily to build public support for Gov. Cuomo’s budget, came under fire from Albany’s insiders yesterday. And no wonder. It threatens to break some venerable rice bowls,” the editorial continues before going on to name NYPIRG as an enemy of the Committee to Save New York.

“So the committee’s enemies — backed by an ostensible voice of reform, the New York Public Interest Research Group, and other so-called good-government groups — are muttering about a supposed unholy secret alliance between the new governor and the business community,” reads the Post piece.

The editorial takes swings at NYPIRG and other unnamed enemies of the effort to rein in spending in the state budget but it’s anger and indignation seem a bit misguided. If as the editorial says it is “All to the good,” that The Committee to Save New York has agreed to register as a lobbying organization then NYPIRG isn’t an enemy of the group, it is just doing its job as an ethics watchdog group and making sure everyone plays by the same rules.

The Post seems to be aching to put the Committee to Save New York, which is backed by business and real estate interests, on a pedestal as noble and heroic, while lashing out at labor and other lobbying groups.

But the Committee to Save New York is as much a special interest as any labor group is a special interest and if anyone is concerned about following the meager ethical guidelines that Albany actually has in place then there should be no hard feelings that NYPIRG pointed out that The Committee to Save New York should play by them.

Its worth noting that the Post is Cuomo’s favorite mouth piece. Red Pillifant of the New York Observer took an interesting look at that relationship, and Cuomo’s general relationship with the press in an article for the New York Observer, earlier this month.

By on January 19, 2011, 3:36 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | 2 Comments »

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Cuomo's Back Up
January 18th, 2011

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is more than ready for an impending budget battle. Recently released figures show he has $4.17 million in his war chest and he said he recently raised cash on the premise that he would spend it do to battle with “special interest campaigns”–namely unions.

Meanwhile another group of special interests–business and real estate interests have formed their own lobbying organization–The Committee to Save New York which has been raising money to help Cuomo as he pushes budget cuts. The New York Times featured a piece this morning that looked at Cuomo’s close relationship with the group and whether or not they should have to file as a lobbying group.

Good government groups including the New York Public Interest Research Group came out saying that group should have to register with the Commission on Public Integrity.

It didn’t take long for the Committee to announce that it will be filing as a lobbying organization. Liz Benjamin reports that they will be filing today.

By on January 18, 2011, 4:28 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | Comments Off on Cuomo's Back Up

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A Quieter Chancellor
January 18th, 2011

Today’s announcement of a program to help struggling students on their state standardized tests (see below) provided another opportunity for new chancellor Cathleen Black to meet with the press. For better of worse, she’s no Joel Klein.

While Klein often appeared (and that may have been a show) to enjoy some exchange with the media and was never at a loss for words, Black today was reserved and maybe even a bit ill at ease. After Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his comments, she delivered an obviously prepared statement, sticking to it even when she was, for all intents and purposes, repeating what Bloomberg had just said.

Black had troubled understanding an admittedly somewhat garbled question (I can say that because I asked it), although Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who stepped in to respond as Black faltered, did get my less than crystal clear gist.

And when WNYC’s Beth Fertig asked Black if she thought too much had been made of her quip last week that birth control could be the solution to school overcrowding, Bloomberg did not let her answer. Instead he rushed to the rescue.

“She made a joke,” he said echoing comments he made yesterday. “Should she have made it? In retrospect, probably not.”

As for school overcrowding it is, he said, “one of the problems of success.” And he indicated that, whatever city parents do in their bedrooms, overcrowding likely would remain an issue. Class size, he said, ” is not likely to be smaller if you have less money.”

By on January 18, 2011, 3:59 pm
In category: City Hall,Education | Comments Off on A Quieter Chancellor

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Lobbying Commission Delay Explained
January 18th, 2011

Right as we speak, the City Council is voting to approve four of the five members to sit on a lobbying commission charged with examining the effects of the city’s lobbying law overhaul in 2006.

The panel, however, is nearly three years late.

Chaired by former council member Herbert Berman, the panel was supposed to be called in 2008. When we wrote about it in August, adminsitration officials said the approval of the city’s subsequent pay to play law in 2007, which restricted contributions by lobbyists, delayed its implementation.

Today, Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the delay was attributed to finding the right people.

“We wanted to find a diverse group of commissioners,” said Quinn.

Both the mayor and the council select the commission’s members. Those commissioners include, Berman, Jamila Ponton Bragg, Lesley Horton and Margaret Morton. The final commissioner should be appointed soon.

The commission will likely examine how the lobbying law affects small nonprofits, who have struggled to comply with all of the city’s robust reporting requirements.

By on January 18, 2011, 3:29 pm
In category: City Hall,Community Development,Economy,Electoral Politics,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Law,nextNY,Public Finance | 2 Comments »

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Help for Struggling Students
January 18th, 2011

In a rare united front, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Cathleen Black, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, teachers union president Michael Mulgrew, Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and Zakiyah Ansari of the Coalition for Educational Justice crowded around a lecturn at Tweed Courthouse yesterday to announce something they all agreed on.

The press event marked the announcement of a $10 million city program to provide help to students who did not meet standards for their grade level on last year’s state standardized English and math exams. Some 532 elementary and middle schools throughout the five boroughs will get between $6,000 and $65,000 to spend on a range of services, such as tutoring, after school lessons and new materials, to help bring those students up to grade level. Individual principals will decide what services to purchase.

In his comments, Bloomberg said the program represents a response to the recalibration of state test scores last year, which resulted in an increase in students not meeting state standards.
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By on January 18, 2011, 3:01 pm
In category: City Hall,Education,Public Finance | Comments Off on Help for Struggling Students

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DiNapoli Warns of Growing Deficit
January 14th, 2011

The state’s budget deficit could reach $11 billion if steps aren’t taken to better manage the state’s cash flow. DiNapoli’s office has begun releasing its weekly general fund cash watch numbers and things aren’t looking particularly pretty.

Here is the release from his office: Read the rest of this entry »

By on January 14, 2011, 2:57 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany | Comments Off on DiNapoli Warns of Growing Deficit

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Crowley Statement on Fire Charges
January 14th, 2011

We already know Council Speaker Christine Quinn opposes charging drivers for accidents that need emergency services — a proposal from the Fire Department in response to budget cuts.

But what does Fire and Criminal Justice Services Chair Elizabeth Crowley have to say?

Here is her statement delivered at the Fire Department’s hearing on the issue today.

“Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule which would impose a schedule of charges for Fire Department motorist services, which is before you for consideration at todays hearing.

In the City Council, I Chair the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services, which oversees the New York City Fire Department. Our first responders not only fight fires and save lives, but also respond to the needs of motorists on the citys roadway accidents.

One of governments most important responsibilities is to keep people safethat is why we allocate taxpayer money to our emergency services. To raise revenue by charging New Yorkers deemed to be at fault in auto accidents is unreasonable, misguided and a simple case of double-dipping. New Yorkers already pay for this service by means of taxes on their income and property. The FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano considers these charges as a fee for service but lets call this fee for what it really is: a double tax.

If the FDNY starts charging for emergency response to motorist accidents, what will they charge for next? Will there be fees for putting out house fires? We cannot begin to go down this dangerous road; therefore, I respectfully request that you withdraw this proposal from consideration.”

By on January 14, 2011, 12:15 pm
In category: City Hall,Civil Rights,Crime & Safety,Economy,Electoral Politics,Environment,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance,Social Services | Comments Off on Crowley Statement on Fire Charges

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Bloomberg Issues Weather Emergency Declaration
January 11th, 2011

This just in from the mayor’s office:

WEATHER EMERGENCY DECLARATION

At the direction of the mayor, the public is hereby advised that significant snowfall has been forecast for tonight.

1. The public is urged to avoid all unnecessary driving during the duration of the storm and until further directed, and to use public transportation wherever possible. If you must drive, use extreme caution. Information about any service changes to public transportation is available on the MTA website at http://www.mta.info/.

2. Any vehicle found to be blocking roadways or impeding the ability to plow streets shall be subject to towing at the owners expense.

3. Effective immediately, alternate side parking, payment at parking meters and garbage collections are suspended citywide until further notice.

4. The Emergency Management, Fire, Police, Sanitation, and Transportation Commissioners will be taking all appropriate and necessary steps to preserve public safety and to render all required and available assistance to protect the security, well-being and health of the residents of the City.

By on January 11, 2011, 4:50 pm
In category: City Hall,Crime & Safety,Electoral Politics,Environment,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance | 2 Comments »

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Winter Weather Alert
January 11th, 2011

weather_lg

As I am sure you and the Bloomberg adminsitration are aware, New York City is expecting a snowstorm this evening.

As of noon, the National Weather Service predicted between 8 and 14 inches of snow and warned that travel would be hazardous.

Here is the latest forecast from the National Weather Service:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
1148 AM EST TUE JAN 11 2011

…COASTAL STORM TO IMPACT THE AREA TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY…

WESTERN PASSAIC-EASTERN PASSAIC-HUDSON-WESTERN BERGEN-
EASTERN BERGEN-WESTERN ESSEX-EASTERN ESSEX-WESTERN UNION-
EASTERN UNION-NEW YORK (MANHATTAN)-BRONX-RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND)-
KINGS (BROOKLYN)-NORTHERN QUEENS-SOUTHERN QUEENS-
1148 AM EST TUE JAN 11 2011

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING
TO 6 PM EST WEDNESDAY…

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING
TO 6 PM EST WEDNESDAY.

* LOCATIONS…NEW YORK CITY…AND NORTHEAST NEW JERSEY.

* HAZARDS…SNOW…HEAVY AT TIMES.

* ACCUMULATIONS…8 TO 14 INCHES…WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS
POSSIBLE.
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By on January 11, 2011, 1:57 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Crime & Safety,Electoral Politics,Environment,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance,Transportation | 5 Comments »

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Blizzard Answers At Council Hearing
January 10th, 2011

Deputy Mayor Goldsmith Answers Questions from the City Council--(c) William Alatriste New York City Council

On Christmas Eve, days before snow began to fall on New York City, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty were on the phone.

The winter weather watch had not yet been issued by the National Weather Service. Doherty and Sadik-Khan talked about their options for the looming storm, which at that time was supposed to bring several inches to the Big Apple.

Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, who oversees both agencies, was in Washington, D.C. To this day, it is unclear where Mayor Michael Bloomberg was.

A day later, on Christmas, the National Weather Service upgraded the city’s storm warning to a blizzard at 3:55 p.m. It defiantly told New Yorkers: “Do not travel.” It warned the city could see high winds and up to 16 inches of snow.

On Dec. 26th, two days after their first conversation about the storm, the two commissioners decided not to call a city snow emergency — a rare designation that would force certain residents to move their cars off narrow streets and prohibit driving any vehicle not equipped with chains or snow tires.

They did not tell Goldsmith or the mayor about their decision.

This one decision, officials said today, created a serious snowball effect that ultimately left the city unprepared to deal with the now-infamous Boxing Day blizzard.

“We didn’t want residents to take those cars out, start looking for a parking space — we all know in New York City it’s very difficult to find — and then [create] more problems that we were trying to avoid,” Doherty told the City Council this afternoon at the first of seven hearings on the blizzard response. Every agency head involved and 42 council members attended today’s hearing, including Council Speaker Christine Quinn who normally sits out of the hearing process.

In retrospect, Goldsmith said this afternoon, the decision to call a snow emergency would have acted like a “catalyst,” triggering other agencies to respond with speed and seriousness to the storm. Instead, between Dec. 26 and New Year’s Day, Bloomberg administration officials scrambled to keep up with the 20-inch snowfall, which left ambulances, buses and abandoned vehicles stuck in unplowed streets.

Officials acted without a concrete chain of command and City Hall failed to get a complete picture of how bad the situation really was, Goldsmith said.

“The mayor did not have the information he deserved,” Goldsmith said, contending there was a communication breakdown between city agencies. “I accept responsibility in doing that more rigorously in the future,” he added.

Goldsmith, a former mayor of Indianapolis who joined the administration last spring, promised to never let it happen again. As part of that pledge, the administration unveiled a 15-point plan to prevent similar slow responses. (More on that plan here.) They will have an opportunity to test it tomorrow. Snow is expected to start accumulating tomorrow evening, and by Wednesday night we could have another foot on the ground.
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By on January 10, 2011, 7:02 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Crime & Safety,Economy,Electoral Politics,Environment,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance,sustainability,Transportation,Work and Labor | 1 Comment »

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Goldsmith's 15-Point Plan
January 10th, 2011

Courtney Gross continues to file from the City Council hearing on the city’s response to the Dec. 26 blizzard.

As promised, Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith revealed a 15-point plan to ensure the city has a better response to major snowstorms.

As part of the plan, the city will equip every sanitation truck with a GPS system and a two-way radio. The city also will amend the process it uses to declare a snow emergency. As part of that promise, Goldsmith told the City Council this afternoon that specific protocols will be outlined for stakeholder agencies during a snow emergency.

A revised emergency plan would provide more options for New Yorkers, Goldsmith said. Currently, a snow emergency requires residents to move cars off certain narrow streets and to have chains or snow tires if they decide to drive during the storm. Under the revision, additional options will be made public before any major storm, including, Goldsmith said, one option simply banning residents from moving their cars .

On Boxing Day, some New Yorkers did not heed warnings not to drive and ended up stuck in unplowed streets, which created even more problems for the city.
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By on January 10, 2011, 1:13 pm
In category: City Hall,Crime & Safety,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

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The City's Failures
January 10th, 2011

Gotham Gazette’s Courtney Gross is at the Emigrant Savings Bank where the hearing on the city’s response to the Dec. 26 blizzard is taking place. She files this post.

Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith told the City Council this morning the city failed in six areas during the Boxing Day blizzard that crippled the five boroughs for several days.

Goldsmith apologized for the city’s unacceptable response and promised the council and the public it would not happen again.

The holiday weekend, the rate of snowfall (two inches per hour) and the many vehicles in the streets made the blizzard more difficult than other storms, Goldsmith said. But, he added, the city failed to adequately prepare regardless of the snow circumstances.

“This administration is built on accountability,” Goldsmith said. “As deputy mayor of operations, I take this responsibility very seriously.”

Most importantly, the city failed to call a snow emergency, the deputy mayor said. If that decision was made, he added, it could have acted as a catalyst for other agency action.
Read the rest of this entry »

By on January 10, 2011, 12:19 pm
In category: City Hall,Gotham City | Comments Off on The City's Failures

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Quinn Gets into Budget Cuts and Snow
January 7th, 2011

Appearing on the John Gambling Show this morning, Council Speaker Christine Quinn outlined her expectations for Monday’s blizzard hearing and reiterated her position on tax increases in the next city budget.

The council and the Bloomberg administration released a mid-year budget agreement yesterday, which staved off the nighttime closure of 20 fire companies and saved nearly 200 positions at the Administration for Children’s Services.

When asked this morning whether Quinn would consider tax increases, the speaker again said no way.

But Quinn did hint at harder times to come (We cover the upcoming budget battle this morning here).

“There arent any ideas that relates to budget cuts that are going to disappear and never come back,” Quinn said. “We are not at a point anymore, and I know New Yorkers know this, where you can say waste, fraud and corruption.”

“We are making choices between things that are good and things that are great,” she added.

The speaker confirmed she would attend Monday’s hearing on the blizzard. Quinn rarely attends public hearings, which points to the significance of the snow showdown.

To listen to the entire segment go here.

By on January 7, 2011, 12:15 pm
In category: City Hall,Economy,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance,Work and Labor | Comments Off on Quinn Gets into Budget Cuts and Snow

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Blizzard Fallout Continues
January 6th, 2011

Mayor Michael Bloomberg got testy with the City Hall press corps this afternoon during a briefing on the city’s next big snowfall, which is expected to start Friday.

Bloomberg announced he would pilot GPS systems on 50 city sanitation trucks during tomorrow’s snow and send out the city’s SCOUT teams to monitor the cleanup’s progress. The mayor said one of the problems during the Boxing Day blizzard was a miscommunication between City Hall and those on the snow-covered streets.

But when questions turned to last month’s blizzard, its management and Bloomberg’s whereabouts during the storm, the mayor’s response went frigid. Bloomberg abruptly ended the press conference, leaving the room with reporters shouting questions after him.

When asked where he was during the storm, the mayor said: “I have a right to a private life.”

Bloomberg was repeatedly asked about the performance of the city’s Emergency Medical Service and why chief John Peruggia was the first fallout from the blizzard.

“Last week’s storm exposed problems in the way [EMS is] operated and I decided to make changes in EMS,” Bloomberg said. “[Peruggia] did not give the public the service that the public has a right to expect when it came to ambulances.”

“I though it was time to have a fresh look,” the mayor said.

The city is expected to get two to six inches of snow tomorrow. Bloomberg said today his administration has responded to 70 storms of similar magnitude.

“We plan to do a great job,” the mayor said.

By on January 6, 2011, 7:01 pm
In category: City Hall,Crime & Safety,Electoral Politics,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance,Transportation | 1 Comment »

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Council and Mayor Reach Budget Agreement
January 6th, 2011

After nearly two months of negotiations, the City Council and the Bloomberg adminsitration have reached a deal on $585 million in mid-year budget cuts, which will stave off nighttime closures at 20 fire companies and save nearly 200 positions at the Administration for Children’s Services.

While it’s good news for some city agencies (the Department for the Aging and Department of Youth and Community Development included), the council could not save everything — including adult homeless services and a 5.4 percent cut to libraries.

We recognize the difficult times we face and the council has worked incredibly hard to ensure that any cuts that are made are done in the most thoughtful and responsible manner, said Speaker Christine C. Quinn in a press release. We worked to secure funding for programs that serve the most vulnerable New Yorkers and to find alternative savings in order to reach a fiscally responsible budget that meets the needs of all New Yorkers.

The agreement only addresses proposed cuts in this fiscal year. In the November plan, next year’s budget is already set to see a $1 billion cut.

Later this month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg will release his preliminary budget, which is sure to slash spending even more.

Here the full press release from the council:
Read the rest of this entry »

By on January 6, 2011, 11:26 am
In category: Albany,City Hall,Community Development,Economy,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,nextNY,Public Finance,Social Services | 1 Comment »

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