The Times Square bomb attempt and recent reports of rising crime have emphasized the need to keep New Yorkers safe and protect our City. I am gratified that Mayor Bloomberg has restored previously proposed cuts to our police force. However, the Mayor should show the same commitment to protecting our communities from fires. I am disappointed that the administration has instead decided to eliminate twenty fire companies, a move that puts neighborhoods throughout our City at tremendous risk.
In addition, taking almost 7,000 teachers out of the classroom will leave far too many students without the support they need. This should be a wake up call for Albany that our City is being forced to pay the price for their inaction.
I am also very concerned about proposals to plug our budget gaps by closing child care centers and senior centers. As we recover from the national recession we cannot put crucial services for working families, children and seniors on the chopping block.
This budget also continues the disturbing pattern of draining the ability of the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) to do its job. The CCRB is already woefully underfunded and now does not have the resources to perform its mission.
Fixing our budget problems will be a serious challenge but I look forward to working with the Mayor and the Council to come up with productive solutions for all New Yorkers.