Thursday, May 13, 2010

Communty Boards Get a Pass On Budget Cuts by Courtney Gross - The Wonkster » Gotham Gazette

Read original...

It’s not just cops that are getting a pass in this year’s budget.

Community boards are off the chopping block too.

Mayoral Spokesperson Marc LaVorgna just sent over the following comments made by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his radio show last Friday:

“Well, I’ve looked carefully – community boards are really a voice for people, and you know, they give a lot of good input to the City, they give people a chance to say what they want to say in front of other people who come from their neighborhoods and everybody learns from each other. We – believe it or not – really do change what we do based on input from the community boards. Not every time and you can’t agree with every community board. There’s 59 of them and a lot go one way, a lot go another so you can’t do it every time. But we will, I think, not cut the funding for the community boards this year. In the very difficult budget times it’s hard to exempt anybody, but community boards really don’t get that much money out of the 63 or 64 billion dollar budget, and I think they really do provide a lot. And it’s just not community boards. There are some small City agencies where, you know, if they’ve got five people cutting them to four is a 20% cut in their staff and their ability to do things and it saves you a small amount of money. So I think community boards will come out of this budget cycle. You know, they’ll always want more, but they won’t get less and that’s a positive, you know, given the environment we have.”

When the mayor was slashing at the boards last year, we reported on speculation that he was trying to do away with them altogether. At least for now, that doesn’t seem likely.

The boards will be a subject of the city’s Charter Review Commission, which has made government authority and power one of the five issues it will look at.