His 2011 budget may be grim, but it could always get worse if Gov. David Paterson’s budget is passed, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In his $63 billion budget proposal for 2011 yesterday, the mayor calls for the layoff of 834 city workers, as well as closing 20 fire companies, swimming pools and a 24-hour homeless center to close a $4.9 billion deficit.
If the New York legislature approves Paterson’s budget, the city would lose $1.3 billion in state funding. Bloomberg said he would then have to chop 8,500 teachers and close 42 fire companies. He would also need to layoff 3,150 police officers, reducing operating numbers to 1985 levels.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, making good on his promise to challenge the mayor, said Bloomberg’s proposals are too extreme.
“We all have to tighten our belts, but closing twenty fire companies simply goes too far,” said de Blasio. “This budget places too great a burden on our city’s children and homeless.”
As a way to raise revenue, the city will increase hourly commercial parking rates from $2 to $2.50 in midtown.