FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2012
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES HOW NEW YORK CITY'S INVESTMENTS FOR THE FUTURE ARE DELIVERING JOBS NOW – AND WHY PENSION REFORM IS CRITICAL FOR CONTINUED GROWTH 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, March 4, 2012.
“Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Investing in the future is important. When you do, it can pay big returns. But if you don’t prepare for the future, it can spell disaster. Last week we saw the benefits of planning for the future in the continued revival of Coney Island. At the same time, elected leaders from across the state came together to issue a warning about our pension system’s looming crisis – and the need to start preparing for the future.
“When we began the work of revitalizing Coney Island years ago, many people said we couldn’t do it. They said that Coney Island’s glory days were over, and that it would never compete with other amusement destinations. Well, Coney Island is more than just competing. We’ve had two consecutive record-breaking years and, we expect this year to be the third.
“But more rides, more attractions and more restaurants don’t just mean more visitors; they also mean more jobs. And on Tuesday, I visited MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, to help launch our third annual Coney Island Job Fair and recruitment effort. We want to connect New Yorkers to more than 450 full- and part-time jobs for the coming season – a record number. We hosted two events last week for jobs that will start on April 1st. They include jobs as customer service representatives, retail associates, ride and game operators and cashiers. We’ll host two more fairs at MCU Park on April 24th and 26th – both from noon to 6 p.m. – to recruit for jobs that begin June 1st.
“The Coney Island redevelopment plan is expected to generate $14 billion in economic activity – and help strengthen our economy for decades to come. But in planning for the long-term, we also have to confront the single largest factor driving our budget costs: pensions. Today, one out of every six tax dollars New Yorkers pay to the City is going to cover these retirement costs – that’s $8 billion. Eight billion dollars a year that we can’t use to reduce our tax burden, or fund our schools, or support our police officers and firefighters or invest in economic development programs or social services.
“On Wednesday, New York Leaders for Pension Reform – a coalition of mayors and county executives – came together in Albany to voice our support for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed reforms that could save local governments across the state $80 billion over the next 30 years. The Governor’s budget includes a new tier of pension benefits for yet-to-be hired employees that would eliminate overtime pay from pension calculations and modestly raise the retirement age for future civilian employees, bringing it into line with that in other states. It’s a responsible plan that would not affect retirement benefits for any retirees or current workers – only those hired in the future.
“In Coney Island, we put forward a bold vision and brought everyone to the table to make it a reality. If we do the same on pension reform, we’ll be able to honor our obligations to current retirees and also create a system that is sustainable for the future.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening.”
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
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Listen to the radio address