Gotham Gazette

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City Budget

City Budget

  • A Lion of City Government Issues a Warning

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    Stan Brezenoff, middle (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The dramatic growth in the size and cost of city government since Mayor de Blasio took office has been of concern to budget watchdogs: the number of city employees has grown by 35,000 and total annual spending by more than $20 billion since 2014.

    The mayor’s latest budget presentation, delivered last week, came with talk of fiscal prudence, but assuaged few fears, including those of an unexpected new source adding his voice to those warning about the city’s long-term

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  • What's The [Data] Point? $92.5 Billion, Breaking Down the Mayor's Executive Budget

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 72 -- $92.5 Billion, The Mayor's Executive Budget - with Yoav Gonen of THE CITY [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    yoav wtdpJournalist and city budget expert Yoav Gonen of the news website THE CITY joined the podcast to discuss Mayor Bill de Blasio's recently-released $92.5 billion Executive Budget plan

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  • Heading in the Right Direction on City and State Census Funding, But More To Do

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    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The 2020 Census is less than a year away, and it is imperative that every single person living in New York is counted. In Mayor de Blasio’s proposed Executive Budget, New York City now has $26 million set aside for census outreach, in addition to an undetermined portion of the State’s $20 million that will go to the City.

    A good start, but we need more than $26 million to ensure a full count, and with less than a year to go before the counting begins, there is still too much

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: The 2019 City Charter Commission Narrows Its Focus

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    (photo: mayor's office)


    April 24, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The 2019 City Charter Commission Narrows Its Focus

    The 2019 New York City Charter Revision Commission released its "preliminary staff report" on Tuesday, indicating which areas of city governance and elections the commission will further consider as it prepares to propose changes to voters in November. Gail Benjamin, chair of the 2019 commission, joined the show to discuss the staff report, the commission's work thus far, some of the

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  • De Blasio Presents $92.5 Billion Executive Budget with Agency Savings, New Investments & Response to State Shifts

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    (photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio released on Thursday a $92.5 billion executive budget for the 2020 fiscal year that begins July 1, an increase of about $300 million from his preliminary proposal in February and nearly $3.4 billion more than the budget adopted last year.

    De Blasio’s latest budget plan will become the basis for City Council hearings

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  • Little-Used Community Land Trust Model for Affordable Housing May See Big Boost

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    Council Member Rivera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Manhattan City Council Member Carlina Rivera is part of a growing coalition of Council members pushing for city government's first major commitment to a seldom-utilized affordable housing model. In the face of rapid gentrification, they say, the city should invest $850,000 in Community Land Trusts, or CLTs, in the city budget currently being negotiated.

    Doing so could help advocates and nonprofits acquire land to operate deeply affordable housing and

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  • As Early Childhood Educators Consider Strike, New York City Must Achieve Pay Parity

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We know now, more than ever, just how malleable the mind of a young child is, and we understand that the earlier we begin engaging a child’s mind, the better off that child will be. Early childhood education can positively impact the academic, social, and emotional development of children, while providing much-needed financial relief for our city’s low-income families with children, for whom child care is a major expense.

    Our city recognizes the significance early childhood education has, both for

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  • City Council Fire Department Proposals Don't Match Need for Reform

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Last week the City Council presented its response to Mayor de Blasio’s preliminary budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. It proposes to add $1.5 billion in annual operating expenditures and more than $1 billion in capital spending to the budget proposed by the mayor. Among the proposals are four that would significantly increase spending on the Fire Department and for which there is no clear justification other than political expediency. Two of them would not only be expensive, but would

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  • City Council Response to De Blasio Budget Includes Investment in Workers, Cut to ThriveNYC, & Ferry Spending Transparency

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    The Mayor and the Council in a budget briefing (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The City Council on Tuesday released its response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fiscal year 2020 preliminary budget, calling its own outline “a fiscally responsible plan that safeguards the city’s financial future and secures the city’s social safety net for New Yorkers.” Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council members are calling for additional reserves and targeted investments, while also saying they’ve identified roughly $1 billion in savings

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  • Invest in City Parks to Improve Our Public Spaces and Save the Environment

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    (photo: @RiversideParkNY)


    Parks are an essential part of any city’s infrastructure. Getting into nature at an urban park lowers stress, eases depression, and fosters happiness. Parks help build community - people get out and meet each other, kids play together, mothers talk, residents meet neighbors.

    Parks are particularly invaluable in New York City, the nation’s

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  • Preliminary Budget Hearings End with City Council Clamor for More Detail on Agency Cuts

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    OMB Director Hartzog testifies (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    As usual, the City Council’s March agenda was mostly dominated by preliminary budget hearings, evaluating the mayor’s initial spending plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. This stage of the city budget process started and finished with a general hearing held by the Council’s Finance Committee, along with its Capital Budget Subcommittee, with a series of more specific agency- and service-related hearings in between.

    The preliminary budget hearings finished where

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  • City’s Flawed Capital Project Process the Subject of Renewed Scrutiny, and Some Reform

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Many New Yorkers know the city has trouble completing construction projects on time and under budget. Projects like school renovations and the build-out of park facilities are capital projects, the subject of increasing scrutiny and some reform, with more promised, as frustrations persist and residents, watchdogs, lawmakers, and other city leaders seek answers.

    Top officials from the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to Comptroller Scott Stringer have taken a fresh

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  • Charter Revision Commission Needs a Hippocratic Oath

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    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The entire New York City Charter, the city's foundational governing document, is on the operating table, and it is essential that the surgeons act with extreme caution.

    On March 7 I testified before the Charter Revision Commission created at the initiative of City Council Speaker Johnson, former Public Advocate James, and Manhattan Borough President Brewer. Charter revision can be a very wonky, technical topic, but the Charter is our city’s constitution and any changes made to it can have a significant,

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  • Charter Revision Commission Hears Expert Testimony on City Budgeting and Contracting

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     (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photo Office)


    The 2019 Charter Revision Commission, which is looking at ways to improve the city’s central governing document, heard suggestions on Monday from community-based organizations, fiscal watchdogs, and former and current city officials about potential changes to the city’s byzantine budgeting process.

    Over the course of more than three hours, experts weighed in on the city’s flawed contract procurement system, the severe lack of transparency in spending on capital projects, the possibility of creating a rainy day fund for the city, and

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  • Library Presidents Seek Additional Funds at City Council Budget Hearing

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    Library rally before the Council hearing (photo: @NYCLibraries)


    The presidents of the city’s three public library systems on Monday requested from the City Council an additional $35 million in operating support and $15 million in capital funding, allowing the libraries to maintain and expand collections, hire more workers, fund more programming, make necessary building repairs and expansions, and respond to emergencies.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget proposes a $388.8 million subsidy for the public library systems, which are

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  • With Williams in Office, Will Public Advocate Get Budget Boost?

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    Jumaane Williams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Jumaane Williams, the City Council member elected public advocate in a special election last month, has vowed a renewed push for increased funding and an independent budget to bolster the meager resources of the office he now occupies.

    Over the course of the six-week long special election that Williams won, virtually all of the 17 candidates who were on the ballot argued that the public advocate’s office needs more funding. One of just three elected

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  • Council Examines CUNY Budget, City Funding for Community Colleges

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    Council Member Inez Barron (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    City Council members on Thursday questioned administrators for the City University of New York as part of a preliminary budget hearing regarding the public university system, which is funded through a variety of sources including city, state, and federal dollars, as well as tuition.

    The hearing was helmed by Higher Education Committee Chair Inez Barron, who represents parts of Brooklyn, is a Hunter College graduate and former public school teacher, and has ...

  • City Council Pushes on De Blasio Savings Program During First Budget Hearing

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    (Photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson appeared frustrated on Wednesday with the de Blasio administration budget at the Council’s first hearing to examine the mayor’s $92.2 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins July 1 of this year.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio released his preliminary budget proposal last month ...

  • Calling for More Savings, Stringer Releases Analysis of De Blasio Budget Plan

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    Comptroller Stringer


    New York Comptroller Scott Stringer released on Friday his analysis of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1 of this year. De Blasio had presented a $92.2 billion budget plan on Feb. 7, 2019, the first step of many that will lead to a budget deal between de Blasio and the City Council. As comptroller, Stringer is tasked with budget oversight and monitoring the city’s fiscal health.

    During his presentation at his Manhattan office, Stringer expressed concern over de Blasio’s

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  • A Fairer New York City Requires Salary Parity for the Early Childhood Workforce

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    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    At his State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio pointed to the expansion of universal prekindergarten for New York City four-year-olds and the expansion of 3-K as an integral part of his administration’s commitment to making New York City “the fairest big city in the country.”

    While listening to the mayor’s speech – and the attention he paid to the success of universal pre-K and the new 3-K expansion – child advocates and educators in the audience found ourselves wanting to shout out ‘Salary parity now!’

    To date, the

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  • In Budget Testimony, De Blasio Critiques Cuomo Plans, Presents City Albany Agenda

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio received a warmer reception in Albany on Monday than he has in past years as he testified before the state Legislature on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 executive budget proposal and how it would affect New York City. Over the course of more than two hours, the mayor argued for more education funding, emphasized the need for a comprehensive revenue plan for the MTA, enlisted legislators to help fend off proposed funding cuts and costs shifts, and defended his

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  • What's The [Data] Point? $92.2 Billion, Mayor de Blasio's Preliminary Budget

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 65 -- $92.2 billion, Mayor de Blasio's Preliminary Budget, with Sally Goldenberg [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    sally goldenberg wtdp

    Mayor de Blasio released his $92.2 billion preliminary budget plan for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1 of this year, and Sally Goldenberg of

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  • Citing Causes for Concern & Promising Cuts, De Blasio Presents Still-Growing Budget Plan of $92.2 Billion

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    Mayor de Blasio presents his budget (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When Mayor Bill de Blasio presented his preliminary budget proposal last year, he issued solemn warnings about the threats posed by cuts in the state budget and from federal maneuvers that could mean fewer resources for the city. On Thursday, de Blasio repeated that message, but in more dire terms, as he unveiled a $92.2

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  • Imagining an ‘Asset Light’ Sanitation Department

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Recent news that the New York City Department of Sanitation had its trucks evicted from a Chelsea garage on West 30th Street and will now park them on a side street near Manhattan’s Bellevue South Park should raise a question: why does Sanitation need to garage its trucks in the first place? It's not as if sanitation trucks are Lamborghinis requiring careful protection or 1970s era Jaguars

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  • Agenda 2019: City & State Budgets on Mostly Solid Ground, with Major Questions Looming

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    New York’s economy has seen several rosy years in the decade since the Great Recession, with a run of steady growth, increasing

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