Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rotten to the Core...Services

So the city council is unhappy with the mayor's budget priorities, and has written a letter to express its disappointment. The WSJ covers the issue: "

The New York City Council officially responded Friday to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s preliminary budget proposal, telling the mayor it would be imprudent to slash critical city services or short-circuit the city’s economic recovery. “Laying off teachers, closing fire companies and shredding the social safety net are not actions worthy of the progress we have made, do not reflect the values of New Yorkers and do not lay a stable foundation for our future,” the council wrote in its formal response to the mayor’s budget blueprint

The council goes on to point out rather cogently, "Rather, we must pare away unnecessary spending and use our limited resources to protect our capacity to deliver the critical services that constitute the building blocks of our future.”

We agree with the council's criticism but must point out that, just as it did with its failed oversight of the mayor's snowfu, the council shrinks away from going after Bloomberg directly, by questioning in this case the wasteful boondoggle of his signature project at Willets Point.

How does the mayor-and the council as well-justify spending billions on an environmentally disastrous development at the Iron Triangle, while proposals are on the table to shut fire companies and lay off teachers?

The council's letter suggests that more savings could be achieved in another area: "In the document, the council said it believes alternative savings can be achieved through “a more careful review of certain areas of spending, including most notably the contract budget.”

Gee, that sounds like it could apply to Willets Point where millions are being contracted for sewers and traffic studies. But that might entail an actual oversight hearing that did the fiscal due diligence-something that Quinn and company have refused to do.

The Journal concludes with this last laugh kind of line-and so will we: "The mayor and his aides have repeatedly said they are doing their best to protect core services while balancing the budget in tough fiscal times."