Legislators react to Bloomberg’s budget cuts

By Queens Courier Staff |

Less than 24 hours after Mayor Michael Bloomberg released his plans to cut $1.6 billion and lay off thousands of city employees, a number of elected officials in Queens have already reacted to the news.

Read more about Bloomberg’s budget cuts here


“Layoffs and cuts to essential city services aren’t the only options for closing a daunting $1.6 billion budget gap. Especially now, there must be a concerted effort across city agencies to identify and trim any fat around city contracts. Specifically, agencies should be questioning whether all contracts are truly necessary, and should also be asking for reasonable cost concessions from its major contractors the way even the MTA has recently and successfully done.
“In Fiscal Year 2010, my office identified $157.4 million in potential savings through audits of city agencies alone.
“Working with the Mayor, we will continue to seek additional savings through audits and contract reviews to improve efficiency in city agencies and ensure that each and every dollar available is maximized. In the coming weeks, we will issue our review of the Mayor’s budget, including options to consider before resorting to service cuts and layoffs.”
CITY COUNCILMEMBER PETER VALLONE JR (Chair of Public Safety Committee)
“As crime continues to increase we need to combat it with more cops on the streets, not taking over civilian duties in the precincts. To make cuts to our public safety infrastructure –NYPD, FDNY and District Attorneys – as we face the ever-present terrorist threat is nonsensical.”
“The mayor did what he’s supposed to do yesterday. He took an unpopular stand and told New Yorkers the truth. We simply can’t keep spending at this reckless pace. We must be responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money, and that means making tough decisions to end the culture of debt and spending. The mayor and I share a desire to cut bureaucracy, waste and overspending at every chance we have.”
“I’m disappointed, however, to see that the most vital public safety services are also on the chopping block. Along with many of my City Council colleagues, I stood up against proposed closures of firehouses, and we were informed that such closures were off the table. The mayor’s proposal would close 20 fire companies at night. This would add precious seconds to response times, which could be life and death.
“Our City loves to spend money on places it has no business spending. But public safety is the most sacred task of any government. I oppose closing firehouses and taking cops off our streets. I call on the mayor to balance the budget without making our City less safe for families.”
CITY COUNCILMEMBER ELIZABETH CROWLEY (Chair of Fire & Criminal Justice Committee)
“I am deeply troubled by the Mayor’s proposed nighttime closures because they will put our public safety at risk. Only five months ago the Mayor made an agreement with the City Council to keep all fire companies open and fully operational. We go through the budget process to lay out our priorities for the entire fiscal year– that included the $37 million allocated from the City Council to avoid closing fire companies.”