“Cutting city agencies’ budgets without regard for the impact it has on New Yorkers, the delivery of essential services, and our city’s economy, is not the depiction of fiscal responsibility. Today’s PEG appears to be a demonstration in excess that risks taking the City down a harmful, destabilizing path. In hearing after hearing, city agencies continued to identify staffing challenges as the biggest impediment to fulfilling their duty to New Yorkers. Additional PEGs will paralyze agencies, harm New Yorkers, and make it even more difficult for the city to successfully recover. The Administration continues to rhetorically convey ever-changing costs for supporting asylum seekers, despite never providing the Council with any substantive response to our repeated requests for evidence of these costs. The fact remains that this Administration has done nothing to address the structural problems that can alleviate some of the costs of caring for asylum seekers, despite repeated calls from the Council to implement urgent reforms. If they removed the barriers for New Yorkers to transition out of homeless shelters into permanent homes, excessive spending on HERRCs with questionable consulting contracts would not be necessary.

“Prioritizing the economic recovery and success of our city and communities requires a budget that advances the health, safety, and well-being of all New Yorkers. Just yesterday, the Council released its Fiscal Year 2024 Preliminary Budget Response, which presents a balanced and responsible approach to investing in essential services while preparing for future risks. It covered the costs of labor contract settlements, while also preparing for the potential of additional costs from the state budget, asylum seekers, and economic challenges. This latest PEG memorandum is just the opposite. Together with the constantly changing figures coming from OMB and City Hall, it only raises questions about efficiencies in management.”