FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG URGES ALBANY TO FIX THE STATE BUDGET SO NEW YORK CITY CAN CONTINUE TO PROTECT ITS RESIDENTS 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, May 9, 2010
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Last week, people around the world applauded how skillfully our first responders handled the attempted car bombing in Times Square, and also how swiftly the NYPD helped identify and apprehend the suspect who has confessed to this despicable crime. What they saw on television was impressive. What they didn't see was perhaps even more important. And by that I mean the eight-plus years of planning, training, and cooperation that made our response to the attempted car bombing so successful.
"It has long been very clear what a prime target our city is for terrorist acts - which is precisely why we have so dramatically beefed up our counter-terrorism measures. Since 2002, the NYPD has developed intelligence and counter-terrorism divisions that are second to none, and the FDNY has vastly increased its counter-terror capabilities. Our Office of Emergency Management has improved its ability to mobilize a broad range of City agencies to protect us from any calamity - natural or man-made. All that work paid off last week.
"There's even more we can and must do, which is why the City is augmenting our existing Lower Manhattan Security Initiative and also extending it to Midtown. This expanded network of closed circuit cameras, license plate readers, and sensors will increase our ability to detect and disrupt possible attacks in real time, and also provide us with more information more quickly about such incidents. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and I last week urged Congress to provide Homeland Security funds for these initiatives, and all our counter-terrorism work. But we're not waiting for such help - which is why we're investing more than $200 million in this project.
"Because keeping New Yorkers safe is our top priority, I'm also happy to report that last week we restored funding we once feared we'd have to cut from the City budget that will allow us to hire nearly 900 NYPD officers. We were able to do that because we've worked hard to keep the City's finances in order right through the deep national recession. Unfortunately, however, State government hasn't been as prudent. And because of that, our city faces severe and unfair cuts in the amount of tax money we get back from Albany.
"To balance the State's books, Albany is now talking about a $1.3 billion cut in funds to the City. That grim possibility leaves us no choice but to prepare to reduce the headcount in City agencies by nearly 11,000 workers in the months ahead. That would include losing more than 6,400 teachers and nearly 400 firefighters, closing 50 senior centers, and making other cutbacks in services.
"More than $650 million of the State cut is an elimination of what are known as revenue sharing funds. Albany is reducing what it returns to other cities and town by no more than 5%; only New York City, which provides almost half of all State revenues, is being "zeroed out" completely. This is unfair; it's shortsighted; and it could seriously harm our economic recovery. That's why we're asking our State legislators to correct the flaws in the State budget, and do their part to protect our city.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958