1,000 Additional Police Officers Included In City Council Budget Proposal
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York City Council unveiled its recommendations for upcoming budget negotiations with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito revealed the proposal on Wednesday.
As 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported, the budget proposal addresses city safety and security issues.
“We’re going to put 1,000 more cops on the beat to give NYPD the tools they need to succeed,” Mark-Viverito said.
The council speaker also wants to hire 500 additional civilians so that uniformed police officers can get out from behind their desks, Papa reported.
As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported, the tab for the additional police officers is nearly $100 million. Money, sources said, Mayor de Blasio would rather spend on other initiatives since crime keeps going down with the nearly 35,000 cops already on the force.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told 1010 WINS that his priority would be to use the extra uniformed officers to increase patrols in the housing projects, but that he would prefer the extra money go toward pay raises to boost morale.
“The issue of pay raises for my personnel, I’m more supportive of that at the moment than I am of additional officers,” Bratton said. “If more officers are given to me, more civilians, certainly I would find ways to use them, but again I think that discussion has just begun and is probably a long way from resolution.”
Other proposals would offer free school lunches for all children, more assistance for the homeless and an overhaul of the city’s property tax system to make it more equitable.
“The reality is if a child is hungry in school, they’re not gonna focus, they’re not gonna pay attention, they’re not gonna learn,” the council speaker said.
City Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras said the property tax overhaul would include the creation of a commission to evaluate and recommend reforms to the state Legislature.
The council is also looking to make libraries more available to the public.
“It is incredibly important for all of our communities, working communities, immigrant communities, that our libraries be open on the weekends,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer.
The plight of city motorists faced with badly deteriorating streets after a rough winter has been heard at City Hall, Kramer reported.
The City Council also included in its proposal $54 million in restored funding for a wholesale road resurfacing program.
“Filling potholes is an important Band Aid, but we can’t ignore the underling problem that poor road conditions impact more than just our tires,” said City Councilman Dan Garodnick.
Although the mayor and the City Council have gotten along pretty well so far, one area where they may clash is on funding for so-called “member items,” items some label pork barrel projects, Kramer reported.
The City Council wants to keep them in the budget, while de Blasio campaigned on eliminating them.
Mark-Viverito said the total cost of the new programs would be $257 million, a fraction of the city’s $73 billion budget.
De Blasio is expected to unveil his executive budget proposal in early May.
He and the Democrat-controlled council will then look to hash out a deal before the June 30 deadline.
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