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Bloomberg’s Budget Blues.

February 18, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg announced his $68.8 billion city budget yesterday validating the concerns many city workers already had. The budget, strongly dependant on a $2.1 billion tax revenue as well as counting on Albany to restore a $400 million cut, will affect thousands of New Yorker’s. The budget includes the closing of 20 fire companies, reducing the budget for senior centers by $27 million, eliminating care for 16,624 children through the Administration for Children’s Services as well as laying off 4,666 NYC teachers. The New Yorker’s relationship with Mr.Bloomberg has been quite tense especially in this past year. First it was the threats of cut backs, then his amazing handling of the 2010 blizzard and now the confirmation of citywide cuts. Bloomberg was quoted in the Daily News as saying, “If somebody has a better way, I’d be happy to sit down and listen to them. I’m determined to hand the city over to my successor on sound fiscal footing”. Would you really Mr.Bloomberg? I think not. Your word isn’t exactly something we have come to trust these days (think back to his forceful law enacting third term-no let’s have it back to two terms fiasco).

Many of my friends are teachers and my mother, who just retired, was a teacher for over 20 years. I know firsthand how overcrowded the schools are already, now imagine the class sizes after the layoffs (a system that is feared to layoff the wrong teachers). How can one teacher be responsible and be expected to teach efficiently the 60 plus students in their class? Does that make sense to you Mr.Bloomberg because it doesn’t make sense to me. From what I know about the care of seniors and the few visits I’ve made to city run senior center, there isn’t much to be desired. They seem pretty crappy as it is, so your going to cut the budget to what, make it worse? In regards to the 20 fire companies due to close, are police officers at risk of losing any jobs or are they one of the agencies saved from having to “share the pain”. Yes, that is a Bloomberg quote. How about the rich living in the city, can we increase their city taxes so we don’t have to cut so many jobs from people who without it could lose everything? Let me guess, they don’t have to “share the pain” either. How convenient coming from a billionaire mayor.

 The City Council and many Municipal Unions are expected to fight these budget cuts. There is already speculation surrounding Mayor Bloomberg’s true intention with this budget, is it really in the best interest of NYC or the best interest to maintain his political standings. Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said, “He continues, we feel, to use this as a political game, rather than making sure he’s protecting the schools and children of New York City“. There was a time when working for city was a job many aspired to have. It meant security and a good career and now with the risks of losing your job at any time, I wonder how many people are still wanting to serve the city they make a home in.

At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we would love to hear your thoughts. Are you a city employee in danger of losing your job? Not sure how to handle your finances? Let us help you make a spending plan and make sure you get all the tax deductions due to you this season. Give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by. We are open Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturdays 8am-5pm.

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