“I feel it is important to remind Director Jiha that the Council’s charter-mandated responsibility is to hold the Administration accountable, and that means examining and questioning their assertions and numbers. It’s not personal, it’s our job. The Council is not a rubber stamp, nor is this a monarchy. Rather, we are a co-equal branch of city government, and we will not respond to arrogance and tolerate disrespect. Over the last two weeks of budget hearings, we heard directly from City agencies who simply don’t have what they need to effectively respond to the multiple crises facing our city. Further cutting these agencies is not fiscally responsible. The Council is looking for a partner to negotiate with to deliver a budget that protects the fiscal health of our City and essential services that New Yorkers rely on. We are prepared to do that on time, and would hope that is true for the other side of City Hall.”