Don't Cross Betsy
June 19th, 2009

The normally reserved, quiet public advocate came out with a bite this morning at City Hall thanks to what she says is a budget cut that would cripple future public advocates.

Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum said her budget wasn’t restored, unlike other elected officials, by the City Council, because of her “spirited” opposition to the extension of term limits late last year. Gotbaum pointed to Council Speaker Christine Quinn mostly, whom she said she had a “spirited” meeting with last week over her office’s cut. So “spirited,” she said, she was surprised the City Hall Press Corp. missed it.

“This cut by the speaker is an attempt to turn a watch dog into a lap dog,” Gotbaum said. “The council is spending almost $50 million on member items, and the borough presidents, I hear, have been restored. I congratulate them. I find it appalling that the speaker could not find the money to restore my budget, but had $17 million to hand out.”

Gotbaum is so furious that she said she will no longer preside over the City Council’s meetings. She says she serves at the pleasure of the speaker — sitting at the front of the council chamber steering the body through their twice-monthly gatherings — but no more.

Gotbaum also said she would not be laying off any staff. They work too hard, she argues. With that, Gotbaum said she would continue as if it were business as usual in the public advocate’s office. But she did promise to leave money for the incoming advocate. She is leaving public office in January — halfway through the fiscal year.

The advocate’s budget this year is expected to be a tad over $2.8 million. According to the mayor’s executive budget, they were slated for a cut of $1.06 million, bringing down the budget to $1.77 million.

By on June 19, 2009, 11:30 am
In category: Economy,Gotham City,nextNY,Public Finance | 3 Comments »

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3 Responses to “Don't Cross Betsy”

  1. Allen R. Piper Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Hello. The Public Advocate’s Office is an extremely important addition to our government. The vindictive slashing of the agency’s funds by the Speaker shows a cold and calculated disregard for the needs and interests of our citizens. We really have no other recourse to the occasional injustices meted out by the several N.Y.C. agencies. The Public Advocate’s Office is very important and must be fully funded.

    Council Speaker Christine Quinn often exhibits a mean streak. She’s meaner after receiving contributions/money from special interest groups. Pedi-cabs were almost thrown off the streets immediately after Quinn met with yellow cab company officials. They didn’t want the competition and Quinn disingenuously announced that the ban was better for competition.

    She (nor the mayor) has no business running for a third term. It’s the most outrageous and offensive disregard for the laws and wishes of us New Yorkers who explicitly twice voted to limit service to two terms only. Two terms limits corruption and the abusive power brokers that entrench themselves.

    Her slush fund for buying off supporters further points to her tendency towards corruption. The Speaker claimed she wasn’t aware and was surprised that the fund was illegal. I refer you to Richard Nixon.

    Thank you for your attention. Allen.

  2. Ellen Mc Hugh Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    What you are surprised at the cuts to the Public Advocate’s office? Mayor Mike told her to do it and she sure as shootin’ did. It’s nice to know that the Leader follows orders.

  3. Allen R. Piper Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    The City Council is independent of the Mayor’s Office. It is usually helpful that they cooperate to pass legislation but cooperating to undermine the voter’s demands is reprehensible. No good will come of it. The state of our government will descend to the very low, putrified levels that very nearly impaled the electorate on the sword of despair. The two-term limit was voted in by WE NEW YORKERS barely stepping around and avoiding despair. IT WAS THAT BAD. There was no other choice. New York was so corrupt it had very nearly fallen to a state of collapse. Because of the brand of politics being offered by Christine Quinn we stand to repeat that past. She’s doing it not at the mayor’s bequest but is driven by her own disrespect for us New Yorkers. Allen.

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