FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES SPENDING CUTS AND INVESTMENTS TO GROW THE CITY’S ECONOMY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, September 28, 2008
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Tough times demand tough decisions – and here in New York, we’re not afraid to make them.
“Last week – with no end in sight to the turmoil on Wall Street and with City government’s tax revenues expected to drop – we took additional steps to close the budget gaps that likely will result. I directed all City agencies to cut their spending by 2.5 percent for the current fiscal year and another 5 percent for the next fiscal year. And that’s on top of the reductions we implemented last year, when we first saw clouds gathering on the economic horizon. Those reductions saved us $1 billion and, combined with savings from previous years and our decision to prepay debt, it has put us in a strong position to weather the current storm.
“Every single agency is going to have to do more with less. But we absolutely won’t let City services suffer. We learned that lesson during the 1970s, when City government was on the brink of bankruptcy and failed to maintain our quality of life. Thousands of New Yorkers fled for greener pastures elsewhere, compounding an already desperate situation for the city.
“No – to keep our future strong, we must continue making the investments that will keep New York City a place where families want to live, where businesses want to locate, and where tourists want to visit. And you can be assured that we are living up to that responsibility on many fronts. Just consider some of the things that happened across the five boroughs last week:
“We took another step to ensure all New Yorkers have access to the nation’s best health care, when we opened a new $73 million outpatient care center at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. It’s part of our $1.2 billion effort to rebuild and modernize public hospitals.
“We enhanced our position as the world’s capital of arts and culture by cutting the ribbons on a stunning restoration of the Guggenheim Museum and an exciting new home for the Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle. Check them out when you have time.
“We reached a milestone in our effort to keep New York affordable to working families, when we crossed the halfway point in our historic $7.5 billion drive to build 165,000 units of affordable housing. That’s enough affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers – more than the entire population of Atlanta.
“The City’s Planning Commission also approved plans to redevelop two underutilized areas in Queens with enormous potential – Willets Point and Hunters Point South. And now, we’ll work with the City Council to pass the plans, so we can begin turning these areas into New York’s next great neighborhoods. Both projects will mean new jobs and opportunity for thousands of New Yorkers, giving another much-needed boost to our local economy.
“City government can’t solve the problems on Wall Street. But we can take steps to ensure that even as the financial services industry stumbles, New York City continues to move forward – and we are doing just that.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Listen to the radio address