Comptroller Lander: Cause of NYC budget cuts more complicated than just migrant arrivals
Mayor Eric Adams recently announced deep budget cuts to critical city agencies - local leaders and New Yorkers are not taking it lightly.
“1,000 workers lose their jobs. Our parks will be cleaned one day a week instead of seven days a week,” Council Member Shekar Krishnan told the crowd at a recent rally.
But parks funding is just a small part of the $5.8 billion budget gap. Comptroller Brad Lander released an analysis of the budget and is calling on stronger management from Adams and his team. He says overspending is the top culprit of the gap.
“$1.5 billion for traffic crashes caused by city drivers, uniformed overtime...all these are areas where better management will save money in the long term and then we don’t have to make short term flailing cuts to critical programs,” he told News 12 New York. Some of those cuts will affect the NYPD, libraries, parks and hospitals. The mayor’s office has cited the migrant arrivals as a cause of the gap, but Lander says it’s not that simple. He agrees with Adams that New York City needs more federal support, but says the budget crisis is due to a whole range of factors. Those include a raise for public sector workers and pandemic federal stimulus for schools.
He called blaming migrants "scapegoating."
"It doesn’t help New Yorkers come together," said Lander.
Despite the reasons, Mayor Adams has said making these cuts was one of the most painful exercises he’s gone through during his time in government. He warns more cuts may be imminent.
“If circumstances don’t change dramatically, city agencies will be forced to reduce city funding spending 5% two more times in the next six months. That will mean disruptions to the services we all rely on," he said.
Lander said this first round of cuts has already been disruptive.
“Libraries impact more people than you think about, less clean parks or streets, that’s terrible for everybody,” he said. Lander said despite the budget gap, the New York City economy is doing well and jobs are back to pre-pandemic levels.