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Mayor Eric Adams unveils budget forcing city agencies to use fewer people to do the same jobs

Adams unveils blueprint for 2024 budget
Adams unveils blueprint for 2024 budget 03:01

NEW YORK - Mayor Eric Adams unveiled a blueprint for a budget that forces city agencies to use fewer people to do the same jobs. 

Adams told CBS2's Marcia Kramer his new fiscal plan is not a do more with less budget, but it does depend on shrinking the city headcount by 4,300 - not with layoffs, but by not filling vacant positions. He was on the defensive about that. 

"Some will argue that vacancy reduction results in agencies not being able to do their jobs. Don't believe them. There are 23,000 open positions still on the books which leaves ample room in agency budgets to hire for critical roles," Adams said. 

Adams is proposing a $102.7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1. It's about $1 billion more than the current $101.1 billion budget, but given inflation and the city's need to house more than 40,000 asylum seekers, the plan gives city agencies little wiggle room. The mayor says if agencies want new programs, they have to self fund, but cutting something else. 

Mayor Adams presents Fiscal Year 2024 preliminary budget 32:48

"As the economy slows, so will our revenue growth. This creates the perfect storm. We will still need to support the core services that New Yorkers depend on every day with fewer resources," Adams said. 

The mayor is already under fire for cutting libraries $13 million this fiscal year and $20 million next year. 

Sources say the NYPD budget is essentially flat, depending on state aid to pay for the increased number of cops on the subways. But the man who got elected by promising to make the streets safe again says he's not going to scrimp on public safety. 

"I am not going to trade off public safety. We have to be safe," Adams said. "New Yorkers must feel safe, and they feel safe when they see that blue uniform. We're going to recruit. We have to use overtime in a smart way." 

By "smart," the mayor said the NYPD reduced staffing at the Times Square New Years Eve ball drop, and has cut the number of cops assigned to parades. 

"We have a civilianization plan we're rolling out," Adams said. 

That's where non-cops do desk work, not officers. 

In addition to the migrant problem, the city is also facing: 

  • A weakening national economy
  • A downturn in real estate sales
  • A drop in Wall Street profits and bonuses
  • A huge increase in office vacancy rates

One thing the mayor says he won't do is see a tax increase on the wealthy. 

"We're losing a substantial amount of high income earners to Florida. We need to be very conscious of that," Adams said. 

Many of the new initiatives are funded by the capital plan, which allows the city to borrow money to pay for things like:

  • Transforming Willets Point in Queens with affordable housing, a new hotel and a soccer stadium
  • A new safety door locking system for city schools

In case you were wondering, there is still $1.8 million to expand the neighborhood rat initiative to Harlem, and pay for a new rat czar

By the way, the City Council is already signaling that it will fight any cuts to libraries and nonprofit groups that depend on city aid. 

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