Mayor Adams targets City Council’s nearly $600 million fund as NYC braces for migrant budget constraints

Next on the chopping block: The City Council’s Pig Barrel!

At least when Eric Adams gets a chance to speak.

The New York mayor is targeting the Democratic-majority City Council’s nearly $600 million in discretionary funds to help offset the Big Apple’s financial woes — which are expected to worsen due to the growing migrant crisis.

Hizzoner said in an exclusive interview with the Post on Tuesday that he would like his sweeping belt-tightening measures, fueled by the migrant crisis, to be reflected in the district-specific spending of all 51 council members.

Adams said he sent a letter to council speaker Adrienne Adams, a Democrat, Tuesday, instructing her to notify all council members that he wants them to swallow a 50 percent cut of their total $563 million in hog barrel funding — a Fund allocation that council members use to donate taxpayers’ money to charitable and other organizations in their districts.

“We sent a letter to the Speaker today asking City Council members to cut their discretionary dollars by 50% because, as you know, many of them are talking about what we need to do to help the migrants to help – so they have to help too,” Adams said.

“Let’s not spend other people’s money – so we have to cut them by 50% at the end of the year so we can contribute and pool the money.”

Measures to tighten the belt have been spurred on by the refugee crisis.
Adams wants his sweeping austerity measures to be reflected in all council members’ district-specific spending.
Paul Martinka

Despite the statement, Adams does not have unilateral control over the council’s budget, as the legislature sets its own budget.

The request follows two days of council hearings focused on the migrant crisis – where members questioned city hall officials about spending, including the now-defunct Randalls Island mega-shelter tents.

Council members are already opposing several cuts ordered by the city’s Bureau of Management and Budget, including cutting agencies’ budgets and eliminating vacancies in city departments.

A representative for Speaker Adams accused Hizzoner of “starving” city officials – citing previous cuts.

Adams said he sent a letter to council spokeswoman Adrienne Adams on Tuesday.
Adams instructed Adrienne Adams to notify all council members that he would like them to swallow a 50 percent cut of their total $563 million in discretionary funding.
Stephen Yang

“The Council has received no such letter from the administration. It is disappointing that the mayor’s word on a budget agreement appears to be losing value and he is attempting to renegotiate through the New York Post editorial board,” the spokesman said.

“At today’s hearing, the Council heard from numerous nonprofit organizations that are filling in the gaps in essential work for New Yorkers and asylum seekers in our communities without reimbursement from this administration — these are the recipients of Council funds.

“The mayor is starving city agencies of staff and resources, leaving nonprofit organizations to fill the gap without his support, and now he wants to cut funding from these nonprofit service providers. When the mayor spends hundreds of millions of dollars on for-profit contractors to build idle tents but fails to invest in nonprofit organizations that provide services, that’s a cause for serious concern. The council will always prioritize New Yorkers and the organizations that serve them,” the representative added.

The end of Title 42 is expected to increase the number of illegal immigrants.
An anonymous Democrat council member said the mayor should instead cut his own budget.
Stephen Yang

A source familiar with the policy called the move a “declaration of war” by Adams on the council.

An anonymous Democratic councilman fired back at Adams, telling the Post the mayor should spend his own budget instead.

“This is a cheap political stunt by the mayor to take down vital services serving LGBTQ, immigrants and other marginalized communities. It’s nothing short of a war with the city council. He can set an example by cutting his own budget by 50%,” the Pole scolded.

Adams warned Monday that unless he receives significant financial help from Gov. Kathy Hochul and President Biden soon, “every service” in the city — from education, sanitation, even the NYPD — will be hit by the expected impact of a rush of migrants poured into the city when the federal pandemic-era immigration policy known as Title 42 expires.

The Biden administration had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to respond to an appeal from 19 Republican-led states asking the federal government to keep the rule.

City Hall asked the federal government for $1 billion last month and made an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency — but that application is pending.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is praising negotiating an additional $800 million in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s proposed budget, with a source close to the Pol saying the Big Apple would be entitled to the to request additional federal funds to offset the $1 billion price tag for migrants.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/20/mayor-adams-takes-aim-at-city-councils-nearly-600m-fund-as-nyc-braces-for-migrant-budget-crunch/ Mayor Adams targets City Council’s nearly $600 million fund as NYC braces for migrant budget constraints

JACLYN DIAZ

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