Kudos to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson for standing firm in demanding more accountability from City Hall — especially when it comes to the rightly embattled $250-million-a-year ThriveNYC program.
The speaker is refusing to rush to an agreement on a new city budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. And his biggest issue with Mayor de Blasio’s $92.5 billion plan is City Hall’s refusal to offer anything when it comes to greater transparency on initiatives like Thrive.
As Johnson told Melanie Hartzog, director of the mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, the council and Team de Blasio are worlds apart on too many issues. “Typically, we try to get this budget adopted by the first week of June,” CoJo warned. “I don’t think that’s possible, and I’m willing to wait until just before July 1 to negotiate this.”
Other areas where City Hall isn’t budging include the council’s push to boost reserve funds by another $250 million, as well as hundreds of millions in school outlays for security cameras, bathroom renovations and more.
Yet de Blasio’s refusal to even make a counteroffer to proposals for more disclosure on what CoJo calls “opaque parts of the budget” like Thrive, ferry service and homeless shelters is especially outrageous.
Hang tough, Mr. Speaker.
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