Adams' Proposed Budget Cuts Raise Concerns About Essential Services in New York City - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, September 25, 2023

Adams’ Proposed Budget Cuts Raise Concerns About Essential Services in New York City

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New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ call for budget cuts of up to 15% across all city agencies has raised concerns about the potential impact on essential municipal services, as was reported in the New York Post.  Experts warn that these cuts could affect critical services such as trash pickups, afterschool programs, public safety, and more, leaving New Yorkers facing a challenging landscape of reduced services, the report said.

Chris Coffey, CEO of Tusk Strategies and a former aide to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, highlighted the need for creative solutions from city commissioners to do more with less, the Post report said.  He noted that the proposed budget cuts could impact services like extra sanitation routes and could even affect overtime hours for police officers, potentially impacting public safety.

“It just depends on how creative each commissioner is on how to do more with less,” Coffey said, the Post reported, as he noted that overtime hours for police officers could hit the chopping block.

Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, expressed deep concern about the potential consequences of Mayor Adams’ proposed cuts, particularly for the city’s schools and their students, as was noted in the Post report.  She described what could possibly unfold with a reduction in services as a “doomsday scenario” and warned of a potential loss of after-school programs, larger class sizes, and the need to make cuts across the board, the report added.

Andrew Ansbro, president of the FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association, pointed out that the fire department is already stretched thin, making it challenging to identify areas for cuts without jeopardizing essential services. The Post report indicated that he mentioned that any cuts could potentially impact fire prevention, recruitment efforts, and other critical functions, excluding the rank-and-file.

Ansbro added that, “You couldn’t close companies or not put out ambulances because we’re already understaffed and overworked. I really don’t know where the money would come from,” as was reported by the Post.

Oren Barzilay, president of the local union representing 4,000 EMS workers and fire inspectors, raised concerns about the potential “deadly consequences” of underfunding these essential services, as was stated in the Post report.  He noted that long wait times for ambulances are already a concern, and further cuts could exacerbate the problem.

“There are times the public has to wait half an hour to an hour for an ambulance, if not longer,” he said.



A seasoned Brooklyn police officer expressed astonishment at the mayor’s directive, emphasizing that any budget cuts to the NYPD would likely lead to attrition and reduced funding for essential equipment, including patrol cars, according to the Post report. He highlighted the existing shortage of patrol vehicles and questioned how further cuts could be implemented without compromising public safety.

“They’d be cutting the budget for cars and I don’t know how they could do that because there aren’t enough cars right now,” he said.

Democratic strategist George Arzt, a former spokesman for Mayor Ed Koch, predicted that New Yorkers would likely see reduced hours or days of operation for libraries and a decrease in parks maintenance services, the Post report said. These cuts would have an impact on access to educational resources and the upkeep of public spaces.

The proposed cuts have raised valid concerns, and the city will need to navigate these challenges carefully to ensure that residents continue to have access to critical services and resources.

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