Breaking Down Mayor de Blasio's First Budget

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announcing the city budget on June 19th, 2014 (courtesy of NYC Mayor's Office)

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council agreed Thursday on a $75 billion budget proposal, built on increased tax revenue, that doesn't include city worker layoffs or tax hikes. The deal includes $32 million to aid inmates with mental illness and more than $19 million to security in the public housing system. There are also plans to provide free lunches for all public middle school students. The budget does not include money for the 1,000 new police officers proposed by the council. WNYC reporter Jessica Gould and Metro Editor David Lewis discuss what's in and what's out of the budget. Plus: what the announced $40m settlement in the "Central Park Five" case means.

Comments [3]

Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

In the coverage of this deal between the mayor and the City Council on the budget covered in this segment libraries were declared "a loser" because operational funds in their portion of the budget were not increased per the City Council request, notwithstanding that those funds have been "baselined" this time.

There was a certain amount of Kabuki Theater in all this. Stripping away any confusing rhetoric, the bottom line failure on the part of the Mayor and the Council to properly fund (our inexpensive but extraordinarily valuable) libraries raises serious questions about what agenda our newly elected officials are really pursuing.

The issue that lurks in the background here is the program the Bloomberg administration launched to sell and shrink libraries and get rid of books and librarians. Why when library use is way up?: For real estate deals.

In general principle terms the budget for libraries, both operating and capital should be sufficient. The capital budgets should be sufficient and cover the long-term, over multiple years.

If a particular year's capital budget is insufficient, it is a short-term problem, and you don't solve a short-term problem by selling off long-term assets.

BTW: You may also have heard (on WNYC) the Mayor announcing as the news was released that no basic city services are being cutback or sold- Let's make sure that's actually true when push comes to shove regarding libraries.

On the transparency front, there was nothing in the budget that transparently associated the budget with any particular course of action. Ergo, the future is still undermined and still to be argued for and won.

For more on that lack of transparency, here is a link to our Citizens Defending Libraries report of the City Council budget hearing that preceded this just announced deal:

Report on Tuesday, June 3rd-9th City Council Hearing On Budget For NYC Libraries Plus Testimony of Citizens Defending Libraries

That's why it very important for people to signing and promoting the NEW Citizens Defending Libraries petition demanding adequate funding for the libraries and preservation of its precious capital assets:

* Mayor de Blasio: Rescue Our Libraries from Developer Destruction

Michael D. D. White
Citizens Defending Libraries

Jun. 20 2014 12:42 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes. Your guest correctly references the 'racially charged time' because the delay in compensating these boys is...just racist. Simple.

Meanwhile, despite the facts and her boss Morgenthau's repudiation, prosecutor Linda Fairstein adamantly proclaimed their guilt again when asked about it on NY Time Close Up last week. (She was promoting her latest book.) She provided no cogent argument whatsoever, citing a 'gag order', but promised Sam Roberts she would return to make her case after the settlement. We'll see. What a predator.

Jun. 20 2014 10:36 AM
Josh Karan from Washington Heights


Present and Future NYC public school students.

No reduction in class size.
No reduction in school overcrowding.

A Capital Budget that even the CIty's own demographic projections indicate is inadequate by half.

The City and the State have conspired to undermine for another 10 year cohort of students the principles of the Campaign For Fiscal Equity

Jun. 20 2014 10:25 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.