Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bloomberg-Quinn Budget Cuts

Stringer Snipes at Quinn Over Budget Cuts

In the wake of the announcements that Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to layoff 6,000 teachers, cut daycare and senior citizen centers, and cut the budgets of independently elected officials, like the offices of the public advocate and the borough presidents, politicians and community leaders are decrying the mayor's cuts as politically-motivated.

For example, The New York Post questions why Mayor Bloomberg is blaming Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the loss of $600 million in state funding. In an NY1 broadcast, the mayor even called Gov. Cuomo ignorant about the city's budget.

Meanwhile, in respect of the proposed budget cuts to the offices of the public advocate and borough presidents has outraged Scott Stringer, the Manhattan borough president.

“It is outrageous that we are part of this political budget dance that impacts our ability to do our job effectively,” Stringer said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “And both the mayor and the council leadership have been complicit in this attempt to silence independent elected officeholders by going after our budget.”

Mr. Stringer told The Journal that under the twin administrations of Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the annual process for setting the budgets for the borough presidents and the public advocate has become the “most politicized” in a generation.

Moreover, that the mayor seems obsessed with laying off public school teachers has worried others whether the mayor is, indeed, making biased budget cuts.

"His complete insistence on teacher layoffs seems bizarre to us at this point. We think it's more of a political game and scaring people," Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, told NY1 television, according to Yahoo! News.

Separately, proposed budget cuts to public libraries have triggered a backlash : is Mayor Bloomberg attacking freedom of expression, education, and access to information ?

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